As news breaks of the Chinese scientist who genetically altered the DNA of babies in an effort to make them more resistant to the HIV virus, Rice University announces that it will open a "full investigation" into a staff member who was also involved in the study.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a Chinese scientist has helped create the world's first genetically edited babies. He Jiankui, of Shenzhen, used the CRISPR-cas9 to genetically alter the DNA of a set of twin girls. The research involved editing the genes of embryos from seven couples. Of those altered embryos, only one resulted in a pregnancy.
As stated by Associated Press, these claims have not yet been independently corroborated. In addition to this, the parents of the genetically edited twins have declined to be interviewed or to reveal details of their location.
Normally, gene editing of this scale is deemed illegal in the U.S. due to ethical concerns. In addition to the ethical reasons, there is also concern that altering the genetics of embryos could lead to further unforeseen consequences. For example, those who are "without normal CCR5 genes face higher risks of getting certain other viruses, such as West Nile, and of dying from the flu," according to AP.