November 29, 2018
On Monday, a Chinese researcher claims to have edited the genomes of human embryos successfully. The researcher, scientist, and associate professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology of China, He Jiankui, is said to have created modified embryos, followed by a successful pregnancy of twins. Jiankui claimed to have edited their genes so that the babies would be immune to HIV.
This claim was announced at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing held in Hong Kong yesterday. His work has sparked controversial discussion of ethics regarding Jiankui’s secrecy around the experiment, as well as the act of gene editing itself.
Carolyn Johnson, Science Reporter for the Washington Post, joined host Ethan Bearman on his show to discuss the moral, ethical, and technical questions surrounding this supposed successful research. “Although he’s claimed to have done these edits, no one has verified it,” If Jiankui’s claim is true, he will become the first person in the world to create genetically modified babies.
Listen below for the full report with Ethan Bearman and Carolyn Johnson.