In 2015, Chinese researchers altered the genes of a human embryo in a lab dish. The news spread like wildfire and garnered huge criticism from scientists for meddling with embryos using technology. The gene modification was done with the help of CRISPR, a gene-editing tool that is cheap and easy to use.
Recently, a Chinese scientist named He Jiankui claimed to have used the tool for creating the world’s first genetically edited babies. He told The Associated Press that twin-girls Lulu and Nana were born with the help of CRISPR and they were successful in disabling the CCR5 gene that causes HIV in human beings.
Gene editing was performed on seven couples infected with HIV out of them, one couple gave birth to twins with disabled CCR5 gene.
He’s interview with The Associated Press came after a report was published by the MIT Technology Review discussing He and his team’s efforts at the Southern University of Science and Technology to create children that are resistant to HIV.
However, no independent research paper has been published, and there is no official confirmation yet.
However, the news has already attracted the attention of scientists from all the United States who are calling the use of CRISPR “unconscionable” and “immoral and unethical.”