Chinese scientist who was jailed for creating gene-edited babies proposes controversial new research

Chinese scientist who was jailed for creating gene-edited babies proposes controversial new research
via Yicai Global

He Jiankui posted his research proposal on Twitter on Thursday

July 4, 2023
He Jiankui, a controversial scientist who was sentenced to three years in prison in China in 2019, recently proposed gene editing to protect people from Alzheimer’s disease.
About his idea: He posted his proposal on Twitter on Thursday, describing research involving gene-editing mouse embryos and later human fertilized eggs, also called zygotes, to determine if a mutation “confers protection against Alzheimer’s disease.”
So far, He has only published his research proposal and does not currently have any set plans, as he told CNN that he is “collecting feedback from scientists and bioethicists now.”
View post on Twitter
The Chinese scientist also noted that he would “make a revision to the Alzheimer’s disease proposal later” and reiterated that he would never conduct any of his experiments until he gets a “government permit… [and] the approval by an international ethics committee with bioethicists from USA and Europe.”
Promise for transparency: He added that his research proposal is a “preclinical study” and that “no embryo will be used for pregnancy in this study.” The scientist also promised to be transparent and share his experiments’ results and progress on Twitter.
What others are saying: Peter Dröge, an associate professor at the Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, told CNN He’s proposal is “insane” and “highly questionable” since Alzheimer’s has no single genetic cause and it mostly affects individuals toward the end of their lives.
Meanwhile, Joy Zhang, the founding director of the Centre for Global Science and Epistemic Justice at the University of Kent in England, told the outlet she believes the scientist’s latest announcement is “more of a publicity stunt than a substantiated research agenda.”
Past controversy: He made headlines in late 2018 after claiming that he created the “world’s first gene-edited babies.” The Chinese scientist eventually went missing soon after. Later reports revealed that he had been arrested in China in December 2019 and received a three-year prison sentence.
Months after He was released from prison, he announced that he would be focusing his attention on tackling rare diseases, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, through his newly opened lab in Beijing.

      Bryan Ke

      Bryan Ke
      is a Reporter for NextShark




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