Chinese hospital denies approving gene-edited babies experiment

The Chinese hospital linked to a controversial experiment purporting to have created the world’s first genetically-edited babies denied its involvement Tuesday.

Shenzhen Harmonicare Women and Children’s Hospital says in a statement that it suspected the signature on a document approving the experiment, specifically its adherence to ethical standards, was falsified.

It has also asked police to investigate.

“We have always firmly opposed the development of genetic experiments that violate human ethics and morality,” the hospital says on its website.

The experiment, which was led by Chinese professor He Jiankui, claims to have altered the DNA of twin girls born a few weeks ago to prevent them from contracting HIV, and has prompted a heated debate among the scientific community.

Some warned that exposing healthy embryos and children to gene editing was irresponsible, while others denounced He’s experiment as premature and dangerous.

AFP

He Jiankui speaks during an interview at a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province, October 10, 2018. (AP/Mark Schiefelbein)

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