Logo


Rogue science strikes again: The case of the first gene-edited babies

Various bodies have emphasized that, for gene editing to proceed to human trials, a robust public discussion is first needed to establish its legitimacy

gene, evolution
Representative Image

The idea of scientists tinkering with the genes of babies was once the provenance of science fiction, but now it’s apparently entered the realm of reality: On Nov. 26, Chinese scientist He Jiankui reported the historic live births of twin girls whose genes he had edited. The goal may have been noble: to use CRISPR to alter their genes to include a variant protective against transmission of HIV. But the announcement – yet to be verified – has quickly become mired in a deluge of scientific and ethical criticism of He as a reckless researcher who overstepped well-established ...