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China opens research on genetically modified babies

China ordered an investigation to confirm claims by a Chinese scientist who claims to have created the first genetically modified babies in history, an act that has been described as "madness" by numerous researchers.

He Jiankui, a professor at the University of Shenzhen, in Guangdong Province (South), announced in YouTube video the birth of "two weeks ago" to two twin girls whose DNA was modified to make them more resistant to the virus. AIDS

"We asked health authorities in Guangdong Province to immediately open a thorough investigation to determine the facts," the National Health Commission announced on Monday evening, saying it "gave great importance" to the issue.

Jiankeyi's announcement sparked a wave of criticism from the world's scientific community, including its own research center, the South East Science and Technology University, which authorized it and declared it "deeply shocked".

The geneticist, trained at Stanford University in the United States and who has a special laboratory for the genome in Shenzhen, explains that he used the technique CRISPR / Cas9, "genomic scissors". Allows removal and replacement of unwanted parts of the genome, how to correct an error in the computer.

Twins Lulu and Nana were born after in vitro fertilization from modified embryos before their implantation in their mother's womb.

This self-proclaimed medical scoop was not substantiated because the results of the Chinese team were not published in a scientific journal.

More than 100 Chinese scientists, mainly biologists and doctors, say it is "crazy," which is "a major blow to the global reputation and development of biomedical research in China."

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