For man behind geneedited babies, a rocky return to science
- That included sharing his goal to raise 50 million Chinese yuan through charity (about $7.3 million) and start clinical trials by March 2025.“We’ve exposed that there is little substance” behind He’s ambitious Duchenne gene therapy plans, the report said.
- But how can anyone think this is a good idea?”Some scientists worry he may return to the sort of work he did before, which involved using a tool called CRISPR-Cas9 to genetically edit embryos, disabling a gene that allows HIV to enter cells.
- “We were concerned that he might endanger another vulnerable population if his new venture remains unchecked.”Organizers said they invited He because China hadn’t had an open discussion about CRISPR technology and ethics since his stunning announcement in 2018.
- Now, after serving three years in a Chinese prison for practicing medicine without a license, he faces obstacles and critics as he tries to re-enter science.For months he’s been touting plans to develop affordable gene therapies for rare diseases, starting with the muscle-wasting condition Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
- Efcavitch, who did not respond to requests for comment, previously served on the scientific advisory board of Direct Genomics, a sequencing company He co-founded before the gene editing scandal.
- He spoke remotely about this new endeavor at an event in early February hosted by the University of Kent in the United Kingdom.And last week, he announced to the press that he’d received a Hong Kong visa and might want to work in the financial hub.
By LAURA UNGAR AP Science WriterFive years ago, scientist He Jiankui shocked his peers and the world with claims that he created the first genetically edited babies. Now, after serving three year [+7348 chars]