• January 23

  • January 3This is a test breaking news headline.

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Chinese Scientists Change DNA

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   This past week in Shenzhen, China, a science professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology posted a video boasting and explaining how he successfully altered a set of twins genes to resist HIV. The only country that allows genetic alterations to babies is the UK. China has supported the gene-editing technology and trials but in this case, the scientists did not have the authorization to do so.


   The Chinese government ordered an investigation into Mr. He Jiankui and two other doctors that he said helped him in his Youtube video. They also asked the Shenzhen Harmonicare Women’s and Children’s Hospital to investigate and verify  the ethical report.


   He Jiankui claimed that he used the genetic editing tool called CRISPR-cas9 which can insert or cut out a part of the DNA. He said that he removed the gene that allows the HIV strand to enter. His work was never independently or peer-reviewed.


   This morning He Jiankui stood in front of 700 scientists and reporters at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing and defended his experiment. Jiankui said that he was proud because he was able to help a family who had started to accept the idea that their twins would have HIV. The father believed he carried the strand and was worried for his children.


   He apologized for spreading the facts about the trial without sending it for review, but has now sent it to an undisclosed scientific journal. Other scientists aren’t worried that he changed the twins genes. They are more worried about the fact that if you change one thing another can switch. The men and women in the conference brought up specifically the CCR5 gene which helps the bodies immune system fight other diseases, such as the flu and the West Nile Virus.


   A chairman of the conference, David Baltimore, has said that although his development and research was new and exciting, it wasn’t necessary to change the genes. There have been other ways to treat HIV and changing the genes could bring harm to the twins later on in life.


   He Jiankui’s experiment was not illegal but what concerned the members at the conference was the tool (CRISPR-cas9) used had been discussed and prohibited back in 2015. The tool was not to be used until all of the safety issues had been discussed and fixed if possible.

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Chinese Scientists Change DNA