Scientist May Face Death Penalty in China for Gene-Editing Babies

The scientist who edited the genes of embryos implanted in a patient via IVF treatment and reportedly created the world’s first genetically edited babies could face the death penalty in China, his colleagues have warned.

He Jiankui was placed under investigation after he released videos, claiming to have used gene-editing technology for seven couples in fertility treatments to provide their children with genetic resistance to HIV infection.

He could face both corruption and bribery charges which carry the death penalty in China. Reports say he is being guarded at a state-owned apartment in Shenzhen.

After his claims last November, the Chinese government moved in and stopped his research, but not until his patient had given birth to twin girls, Lulu and Nana.



Photo: “Chinese biomedical researcher Dr. Jiankui He” by The He Lab is licensed under CC BY 3.0