Intended for healthcare professionals


Creator of first gene edited babies faces “stern” punishment

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 22 January 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l346
  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal

He Jiankui, the Chinese scientist who rocked the field of genetics when he announced in November that he had created the world’s first gene edited babies,1 will be “sternly dealt with,” said China’s government, which is believed to have been holding him under house arrest for weeks.

The preliminary findings of a report by the Health Commission of China, passed to China’s official news agency Xinhua, seem to confirm that the twin girls whose birth announcement by He caused the uproar do indeed have an artificially altered genome and that the birth of a third child gene edited child is also expected.

Motivated by the pursuit of “personal fame and fortune,” according to Xinhua’s account of the report, He “organized a project team that …

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