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If reports of genetically-edited babies are correct, the ethical problems cannot be overstated

Chinese scientist He Jiankui claims to have used “CRISPR technology” to such an end. We can only hope for the health of the two children

By Philip Ball  

Photo: Gregor Fischer/DPA/PA Images

The Associated Press and other outlets have reported that Chinese scientist He Jiankui, working at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, used genome-editing technology on human IVF embryos and implanted them in seven women, resulting in the births of two twin girls a few weeks ago.

He made this sensational (in all senses) claim at a press conference in Hong Kong on 26th November, adding that “society will decide what to do next.” So far, the announcement, for which there is as…

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