Chinese scientist says a second pregnancy is underway

Mr He said the egg was modified before being inserted into the womb during IVF

"The medical ethics review exists in the name only".

In addition, Zhang said that in 2015, "the worldwide research community said it would be irresponsible to proceed with any germline editing without 'broad societal consensus about the appropriateness of the proposed application.' (This was the consensus statement from the 2015 worldwide Summit on Human Gene Editing.) It is my hope that this year's summit will serve as a forum for deeper conversations about the implications of this news and provide guidance on how we as a global society can best benefit from gene editing".

Southern University said in a statement it would be investigating the experiment, which appeared to have "seriously violated academic ethics and codes of conduct".

"If the technology is mature enough, there will definitely be a huge demand in the market to modify the genes of babies, which could lead to black market exchanges and many other challenges", he said.

"Of the group infected with HIV, many have special conditions such as inability to conceive naturally, but the reality is that they can not have babies through IVF in hospitals", he said. He and his research have been condemned widely by scientists around the world with some saying that this sort of experimentation on humans is not morally or ethically defensible. Gene editing of this sort is banned in the USA due to fear of the DNA changes being passed to future generations with the risk of harm to other genes.

FILE - He Jiankui speaks during an interview at a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province, October 10, 2018.

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In interviews, He Jiankui defended his work. The gene modification was done with the help of CRISPR, a gene-editing tool that is cheap and easy to use.

"I feel a strong responsibility that it's not just to make a first, but also make it an example", He told the AP. "Society will decide what to do next", he said. He, who owns two genetics companies in China, was reportedly assisted by U.S. scientist Michael Deem, who was an advisor to He when they worked together at Rice University in Houston, in the USA state of Texas.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, Michael Deem, a physics and bioengineering professor who assisted He, is under investigation for the venture by Rice University in Houston, where he teaches.

A spokesman for He said he has been on leave from teaching since early this year but remains on the faculty and has a lab at the university.

A worker places an embryo in a storage tube at a laboratory in Shenzhen.

On Monday, China's National Health Commission ordered an immediate investigation by local authorities in Shenzhen and Guangdong province, according to Xinhua.

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"All of us here at this conference are struggling to figure out what was done and also whether the process was done properly", she said.

In this October 9, 2018 photo, a microplate containing embryos that have been injected with Cas9 protein and PCSK9 sgRNA is seen in a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province.

"Scientists everywhere today will be thinking "show me the evidence" and some of the claims from the scientists involved suggest that the gene editing was only partially successful". The tool, called CRISPR-cas9, makes it possible to operate on DNA to supply a needed gene or disable one that's causing problems. When CRISPR is used to treat deadly diseases in adults, those changes are confined to the individual. Editing sperm, eggs or embryos is different because such changes can be passed down. Such experimentation is illegal in the USA and some other nations.

About 40 countries have some kind of law or regulation at least discouraging the type of experiments done in China, where gene-edited embryos are actually implanted in mothers. At the summit, Paula Amato of the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland Ore., said her group planned to try to correct defects that increase the risk for breast cancer and Huntington's disease.

"If true, this experiment is monstrous". He's study, specifically in addressing HIV via gene editing, safe-sex was recommended as a preventative along with current medical treatments in the case of infection by the director of the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of Oxford. He told the AP that since HIV is "a major and growing public health threat" he finds such experiments "justifiable".

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