A scientist who claims to have been involved in creating the world’s first gene-edited baby has called on people to respect the babies and let them lead normal lives.
In 2018, Gianquie became the center of attention for one of the most controversial works in modern scientific history when he claimed to have edited the genes of daughters Lulu and Nana before birth. were gone
They also edited the genes of a third child, Amy, born a year later.
The scientist was fired by China’s Shenzhen Main South University of Science and Technology and served three years in prison for illegal medical practices.
In an interview with the South China Morning Post (SCMP) published on Tuesday, he said the children were “living a normal, peaceful and undisturbed life” and the world should “respect them” for that. ‘ should do.
“This is their wish and we should respect it,” he told the newspaper.
He Jiankui said that he did not want children’s normal lives to be disrupted for scientific research. He said that the ‘happiness of the children and their families’ should be the priority.
Prior to this controversial genetic modification experiment, the scientist studied physics in China and later moved to the United States to pursue a PhD at Rice University.
He received a postdoctoral degree in genome sequencing from Stanford University before returning to China in 2012.
He first announced the birth of twins Lulu and Nana in a YouTube video on his channel four years ago. “These children are healthy and at home with their parents, Grace and Mark, just like any other child,” he said.
Later, at the Second International Conference on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, he defended his work and announced the birth of Amy.
He Jiankui claimed that he used the gene-editing tool CRISPR, CASNin, which can insert or inactivate certain genes.
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They said they modified the CCR5 gene, a pathway by which the HIE virus enters cells, enabling them to resist HIV.
The response to his announcement was swift. Biomedical and AIDS researchers around the world condemned him for the experiment. In a joint statement, Chinese biomedical scientists called their experiment ‘horrific’, ‘premature, and irresponsible’.
The Chinese government announced an immediate investigation, which later found him guilty of ‘illegal medical practices’.
Speaking to SCMP, Giancoy said that when asked if he was worried about the future of the children, he said that he was worried like any other father in the world.
“You have high expectations of them, but you also have a lot of anxiety,” he said.
He said that as part of the consent for the research, he is obliged to monitor the health status of these children.
“After the age of 18, these children will decide whether to seek medical follow-up for their individual needs,” he says. We are committed to doing so for the rest of their lives.’
The Chinese scientist said that he wanted to get additional health insurance for the children, but no insurance company was willing to insure them after it was revealed that their genes had been changed.
These scientists want to open a charitable foundation to raise money for the children for any unexpected future medical expenses.
However, reflecting on his actions, he admitted that ‘I rushed it.’
Speaking at several universities and conferences is part of his schedule. The schedule also includes a scheduled visit to Oxford University next month, where he will discuss CRISPR gene-editing technology in reproductive medicine.
He has also set up a laboratory in Beijing to work on affordable gene therapy for rare genetic diseases.