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Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 22:53
Chinese ministry to investigate gene-edited babies claim
By Xinhua
Wednesday, November 28, 2018, 22:53 By Xinhua

Robin Lovell-Badge, left, the moderator of the session about human embryo editing, Chinese scientist He JianKui, center, and Matthew Porteus from Stanford University on stage at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong, Nov 28, 2018. (PARKER ZHENG / CHINA DAILY)

BEIJING – China's Ministry of Science and Technology will cooperate with other departments to investigate the claim that the world's first gene-edited babies have been created.

The Ministry of Science and Technology is highly concerned and called an emergency meeting Monday night after a Chinese researcher, He Jiankui, claimed to have created the world's first gene-edited babies, Xu Nanping, vice minister of science and technology, said Tuesday at a media event.

READ MORE: Researcher reveals more details on human embryo gene editing

He, who is based in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, on Monday claimed to have altered the DNA of twin girls born a few weeks ago to prevent them from contracting HIV. It has triggered heated debate in the scientific community and on social media since He posted a video on it online.

The ministry was following the case closely and would seriously deal with it after clarification, said Xu.

ALSO READ: Investigation follows claims of first gene-edited babies

The vice minister noted that China limits in vitro human embryonic stem cell research to a maximum of 14 days according to ethical guidelines on human embryonic stem cell research issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the former Ministry of Health in 2003.

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