He Jiankui speaks at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong on Nov 28, 2018. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)
SHENZHEN - Chinese researcher He Jiankui was sentenced to three years in prison and fined 3 million yuan (about US$430,000) for illegally carrying out the human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction, in which three genetically edited babies were born, a court in south China's Shenzhen city said Monday.
Meanwhile, Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou from two medical institutes in Guangdong received jail terms of two years and 18 months with a two-year reprieve, respectively, as well as fines
The Nanshan District People's Court of Shenzhen said He, former associate professor with the Southern University of Science and Technology, and two others were convicted of illegal medical practice.
Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou from two medical institutes in Guangdong province received jail terms of two years and 18 months with a two-year reprieve, respectively, as well as fines.
According to the verdict, the three, not qualified to work as doctors, had knowingly violated the country's regulations and ethical principles to practice gene editing in assisted reproductive medicine.
It said their acts were "in the pursuit of personal fame and gain" and have seriously "disrupted medical order."
The three pleaded guilty during the trial.
He claimed in November 2018 that the world's first genetically edited babies were born with their DNA altered to prevent them from contracting HIV. The news made a scientific splash and prompted an immediate investigation from authorities.
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