BEIJING (AFP) – China has ordered an investigation into allegations of a Chinese scientist claiming to have created the first
genetically modified babies of the story, an act described as "madness" by numerous researchers.
He Jiankui, a professor at the University of Shenzhen, Guangdong Province (south), announced in
a video posted on YouTube about the birth "a few weeks ago" of two twin girls whose DNA was modified to make them more resistant to the AIDS virus.
"We asked health authorities in Guangdong Province to immediately open a full investigation to establish the facts," the National Health Commission responded on Monday night, saying "attach great importance" to this issue.
The announcement of Jiankui provoked a wave of criticism from the world's scientific community, including the researcher's center, the Southern University of Science and Technology, which authorized him and declared himself "deeply shocked."
The geneticist, who graduated from Stanford University in the United States and runs a special genome laboratory in Shenzhen, explains that he used the CRISPR / Cas9 technique, the "genome scissors". It allows you to remove and replace undesirable parts of the genome as if you were correcting a typo on a computer.
The Lulu and Nana twins were born after in vitro fertilization of modified embryos prior to their implantation in the mother's womb.
This self-proclaimed medical hole was not corroborated because the results of the Chinese team were not published in a scientific journal.
More than 100 Chinese scientists, mostly biologists and doctors, lamented in a statement "crazy," which is "a major blow to the global reputation and development of biomedical research in China."