by Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNews.com
A Chinese researcher says he’s the first person to successfully “edit” the genes of babies before birth in a practice the United States bans as dangerous and unethical.
Leading a team at Shenzhen’s Southern University of Science and Technology, He Jiankui claims to have altered the embryos of seven couples during fertility treatments, the Associated Press reports, one of which gave birth to twin baby girls this month. The purpose of the experiment was to eliminate a gene (CCR5) in hopes of making the children resistant to diseases such as HIV, smallpox, and cholera.
The scientist announced the alleged feat in an interview with the AP and to organizers of a gene editing conference in Hong Kong. He refused to identify the parents or their location, and no scientific journal has independently verified his claims. An American scientist, Michael Deem of Rice University, also worked on the project.
“I feel a strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” He told the AP. “Society will decide what to do next” with the technology’s ethical ramifications.
© 2018 LifeSiteNews.com