A Chinese court has sentenced a scientist who created the world’s first “gene-edited” babies, to three years in prison on Monday, having found him guilty on charges of illegally practising medicine.
He Jiankui, then an associate professor at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, said in November 2018 that he had used gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to change the genes of twin girls to protect them from getting infected with the AIDS virus in the future.
He was suspended from his job and accused of work that was “extremely abominable in nature”. He and his collaborators forged ethical review materials and recruited men with AIDS who were part of a couple to carry out the gene-editing. .
His experiments ultimately resulted in two women giving birth to three gene-edited babies, according to the official Xinhua news agency.