Work on gene-edited babies blatant violation of the law, says China

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Vice-minister condemns work of He Jiankui, but Chinese regulations are vague

Chinese authorities have declared the work of He Jiankui, a scientist who claims to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies, a violation of Chinese law and called for the suspension of all related activity.

“The genetically edited infant incident reported by media blatantly violated China’s relevant laws and regulations. It has also violated the ethical bottom line that the academic community adheres to. It is shocking and unacceptable,” Xu Nanping, a vice-minister for science and technology, told the state-owned CCTV on Thursday.

Related: ‘Of course it’s not ethical’: shock at gene-edited baby claims

Crispr, or to give it its full name, Crispr-Cas9, allows scientists to precisely target and edit pieces of the genome. Crispr is a guide molecule made of RNA, that allows a specific site of interest on the DNA double helix to be targeted. The RNA molecule is attached to Cas9, a bacterial enzyme that works as a pair of “molecular scissors” to cut the DNA at the exact point required. This allows scientists to cut, paste and delete single letters of genetic code. 

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Source: china
Link : Work on gene-edited babies blatant violation of the law, says China


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