STAT - Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine

STAT - Reporting from the frontiers of health and medicine

There is actually actual ample evidence that the twins born will suffer. Of the four CCR5 alleles in the two embryos that were implanted, one of them had no mutations and the other three each had a different CCR5 mutation, none of which were the one found in humans and the one that He was trying to make. So He was not successful in creating the mutation he wanted to make. He also did not test whether these mutations would actually lead to HIV resistant, it was just assumed. In addition, there were off-target mutations found and when DNA sequencing was done on the birth tissue, there was a lot of mosaicism present. And aside from the questions about whether the twins will turn out healthy, there’s also the problem of how he recruited the parents and what the parents knew. In China, it is illegal for HIV+ people to receive fertility treatment. While we don’t know for sure, it is likely that the only reason the parents said yes to be a part of these experiments was because they wanted the fertility treatment. I suspect that the reason He chose HIV to do his CRISPR experiments on, was not to actually improve HIV treatment (because there’s a other million ways to do that), but to target vulnerable, isolated, and desperate people. Please read this paper and be informed about what you’re saying, https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614764/chinas-crispr-babies-read-exclusive-excerpts-he-jiankui-paper/ . It does a great job of going over both the ethics and science of what He did.



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