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Thread: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

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    Default Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    Rob Stein
    December 7, 2018

    Ever since a Chinese scientist rocked the world by claiming he had created gene-edited twin girls, international outrage has only intensified.
    "Everything that's emerged over the last week only adds to the concern about this having been a deeply unfortunate, misguided misadventure of the most dramatic sort," says Francis Collins, director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. "It was shocking at the time. A week later, it's still shocking."
    As researchers have scrutinized the scant details made public by the scientist, He Jiankui of the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, China, it has become clear that He actually missed precisely editing his genetic target.

    Keep reading:https://www.npr.org/sections/health-...m_term=nprnews
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    Veteran Member Mr. Wizard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    The shock and outrage by the medical community is spurious!! Dr. He told 2 colleagues at the University of California that he was doing this, and they said nothing. Further, this has been done years ago. In the mid-1990s, fertility docs in New Jersey injected healthy material into the eggs of infertile women, who later became pregnant. The babies mitochondria showed DNA form both parents and the donor person. They edited the eggs prior to becoming embryos. I believe this is the same thing. Perhaps worse. Read about the New Jersey 1990s experiment here:
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/12/01/s...e-editing.html

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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    I don't think I heard of the 1990s experiment but I did remember the one from 2016: https://bigthink.com/paul-ratner/fir...rent-procedure
    I was mildly surprised to read that England had actually approved this process. I'd like to know more about the children born in the 1990s. They must be over 20 years old by now — old enough to identify whether any unwanted effects have occurred.

    I have mixed emotions about genetically modifying human germ lines. I might be persuaded to justify it in cases where a child could inherit a fatal disease, but the opportunities for abuse abound. And it's unclear whether actual errors were made in He's procedure. Far more research is needed, I'd say.
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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    The 2016 experiment was different from the mid-1990s procedure. The 2016 doc actually substituted healthy mitochondria for unhealthy ones. He did this in Mexico, as the FDA banned that procedure in the U.S. The parents of the 2016 baby did not want any followup with their child. So, there's no record on the health of this child. However, in 2015, the British Parliament passed a law allowing the procedure. It is reported that the first British baby born using this procedure was born earlier this year in February. **As for the 1990s babies in New Jersy, there were apparently dozens of these children who were tracked well into their teenage years with no apparent health problems.

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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    True. But as we know from following the effects of chemicals like atrazine and glyphosate, some side effects take many years to become apparent... some not until the next generation.
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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    Exactly, Islander.

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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    Quote Originally Posted by Islander View Post
    True. But as we know from following the effects of chemicals like atrazine and glyphosate, some side effects take many years to become apparent... some not until the next generation.
    I agree 100%. And, honestly, I'm not sure anyone in the medical community would blow the whistle on any problems with these children. Most probably saw this as a huge medical breakthrough. Who's going to trample on "progress." [meant sarcastically]

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    Default Re: Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies

    News update on gene-edited infant:
    Outrage Intensifies Over Claims Of Gene-Edited Babies
    Scientist Who Edited Babies’ Genes Is Likely to Face Charges in China

    Austin Ramzy and Sui-Lee Wee

    • Jan. 21, 2019

    HONG KONG — A Chinese scientist who claimed to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies “seriously violated” state regulations, according to the results of an initial government investigation reported on Monday by Chinese state media.
    The investigators’ findings indicate that the scientist, He Jiankui, and his collaborators are likely to face criminal charges.
    Dr. He shocked the world in November when he announced that he had used Crispr, a powerful gene-editing technique, to alter the genes of human embryos.

    Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/21/w...e-jiankui.html
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