The Chinese scientist who created the world’s first “gene-edited” babies has been sentenced to 3 years in prison.
He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who created the world’s first “gene-edited” babies and two others convicted on charges related to manipulation of embryos to prevent HIV infection, have been sentenced to three years in prison and fined 3 million yuan (US$430,000), according to a report from South China Morning Post.
Back in November 2018, He Jiankui, from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, claimed he had manipulated the embryos with a gene-editing technique known as CRISPR in a bid to make them immune to HIV infection. He, along with two others named Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou, was convicted by a Shenzhen court on Monday on charges related to the “illegally carrying out human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction”, which led to the births of three genetically edited babies, according to state news agency Xinhua.
Immediately after his announcement, more than 120 researchers Chinese scientists condemn ‘crazy’ and ‘unethical’ gene-editing experiment. The 120 Chinese scientists and researchers signed an open letter criticizing He Jiankui after he claimed to have been responsible for world’s first gene-edited babies.
Below is a video of He Jiankui discussing his discovery.