It is pointed out that the experiment to produce a genetically edited baby may have failed and caused an 'unintentional mutation'.



In 2018, Chinese researcher He Jiankui of Southern Technology University used CRISPR-Cas9, a technology that can freely replace the genome sequence of DNA, and made it resistant to HIV by gene editing. and was able to produce the twins ' announcement was. It is reported that Mr. Ka has been missing since then, but as a result of an expert review of a copy of the unpublished paper, it is reported that 'the research is likely to have failed.'

China gene-edited baby experiment'may have created unintended mutations' | Science | The Guardian

Scientists slam Chinese gene-edited babies research after manuscript released --CNA

China's failed gene-edited baby experiment proves we're not ready for human embryo modification

After the research content was announced in November 2018, the existence of genetically edited twins 'Lulu' and 'Nana' was confirmed in January 2019, and Mr. Ka was police. It was reported that it was the subject of an investigation. On the other hand, Mr. Ka has not appeared in public since he attended an international conference in Hong Kong at the end of November 2018 and announced the research results. Isn't it detained? '

Chinese scientists who confirmed the existence of genome-edited twins in China and conducted clinical experiments are subject to police investigation --GIGAZINE

Meanwhile, MIT Technology Review , a science and technology magazine, said that in early 2019, it obtained a copy of Mr. Ka's unpublished paper from an anonymous source. Mr. Ka seems to have submitted his dissertation to at least Nature and JAMA , but both academic journals have refused to publish as a result of consideration.

There was a lot of criticism in Mr. Ka's research, but no papers or experimental data were published, and details remained unclear. Therefore, science writer Antonio Regalado asked legal scholars, in vitro fertilization doctors, embryologists, and experts in gene editing technology to review unpublished papers and investigated the validity of the research. As a result, many problems such as deviations from ethical and scientific norms have emerged from Mr. Ka's research.

First, Mr. Ka widely claimed that 'gene editing technology was able to confer HIV resistance on babies,' but there was no data that they actually succeeded in making babies HIV resistant. .. Some people have a mutation in a gene involved in the immune system called CCR5 , and people with this type of mutation are known to be resistant to HIV. Mr. Ka claimed to have made the baby HIV resistant by reproducing this CCR5 mutation by gene editing, but according to the experts who reviewed it, Mr. Ka's attempt was unsuccessful. ..

Ka's research team did edit genes targeting CCR5, but they couldn't completely reproduce the known mutations, saying, 'Mutations that may not lead to the acquisition of HIV resistance. Experts point out that it was producing. Professor Fyodor Urnov, who studies gene editing at the University of California, Berkeley , said, 'The allegations that they reproduced the CCR5 mutation are a blatant misrepresentation of actual data and can be described as'intentional falsehood'. I blamed him.



Also, CRISPR is by no means a perfect tool, and when you try to edit one gene, there are cases where other genes are unintentionally changed. However, it was also revealed that Ka's research team only examined one early embryo to confirm the result of gene editing, and did not perform comprehensive verification.

In addition to doubts about the results of these experiments, it has been pointed out that there may have been various deficiencies in Mr. Ka's experimental methods and the description of his dissertation. For example, the author list of a paper does not include the name of the doctor or obstetrician who was in charge of fertility treatment. This point damages the credibility of the paper, and it is possible that doctors were allowed to cooperate in the experiment without being informed of the fact that they were 'involved in research on gene editing technology.' There seems to be.

'The baby's father was HIV-infected and had given up having a child because of his illness, but this experiment allowed him to have a child,' Ka claimed. Doubts remain in this regard as well. Since HIV is not inherited and is caused by infection with the HIV virus, it is possible to safely give birth to a child simply by cleaning the sperm and removing the HIV virus from the sperm. 'The failure of parents to receive fertility treatment due to social circumstances in China may have motivated them to participate in this experiment,' said Jeanne O'Brien, a reproductive endocrinologist. bottom.

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