Der chinesische Menschenversuch

Donnerstag 29.11.18



First, sperm was “washed” to separate it from semen, the fluid where HIV can lurk. A single sperm was placed into a single egg to create an embryo. Then the gene editing tool was added.
When the embryos were 3 to 5 days old, a few cells were removed and checked for editing. Couples could choose whether to use edited or unedited embryos for pregnancy attempts. In all, 16 of 22 embryos were edited, and 11 embryos were used in six implant attempts before the twin pregnancy was achieved, He said.
Tests suggest that one twin had both copies of the intended gene altered and the other twin had just one altered, with no evidence of harm to other genes, He said.


Chinesische Medien berichten, He habe für seine Versuche keine Genehmigung eingeholt. Die chinesische Regierung hat eine “unverzügliche Untersuchung” angeordnet. Der Vize-Minister für Wissenschaft und Technologie, Xu Nanping, bezeichnete das Experiment als illegal. Die Nationale Gesundheitskommission teilte am Dienstag in Peking mit, man prüfe, ob der Fall mit den Gesetzen zum verantwortlichen Umgang mit der Gesundheit der Menschen übereinstimme. He sagte in Hongkong, außerhalb seines Teams habe er sich nur mit vier Personen abgesprochen, darunter ein US-Forscher und ein Mitglied der Chinesischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.


Many scientists faulted He for a lack of transparency and the seemingly cavalier nature in which he embarked on such a landmark, and potentially risky, project.


China excels in most kinds of technology, but when it comes to gene editing and designer babies, it has an extra advantage: a population that has been conditioned to manipulating reproduction as a tool for progress. I’m referring, of course, to the three decades of family-planning rules known as the one-child policy.
Behind the science of what’s doable is the mind-set of what’s desirable. China’s unprecedented reproductive experiment, officially ended in 2015 although many restrictions continue, has created a people accustomed — in many cases, forcibly so — to controlling the number and gender of their offspring.

MIT Technology Review

These two children are the guinea pigs. They will go through their whole maturing process having not understood the risks ahead of time,” said Liu Ying of Peking University’s Institute of Molecular Medicine.


Ethics aside, does the CRISPR baby experiment make scientific sense? … Is it possible that CRISPR led to mutations that didn’t cripple CCR5? Yes. Mutated genes sometimes still produce functional proteins.


Die chinesische Regierung hat dem Forscher He Jiankui und seinen Mitarbeitern weitere Forschungsaktivitäten untersagt … Die von He berichtete Erzeugung genmanipulierter Babys sei „äußerst abscheulicher Natur“ und verletze chinesische Gesetze und die wissenschaftliche Ethik, sagte der stellvertretende Wissenschaftsminister Xu Nanping der staatlichen Nachrichtenagentur Xinhua am Donnerstag. Zuvor hatten sich schon die Nationale Gesundheitskommission des Landes und die Chinesische Gesellschaft für Wissenschaft und Technologie (CAST) von He distanziert.


William Hurlbut first met He (whom he calls JK) in January 2017, at a workshop that Hurlbut and CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna of the University of California, Berkeley, held at Berkeley to discuss ways to educate and engage the public on issues raised by human genome editing. The Chinese scientist did not participate actively in group discussions (his English is somewhat halting). “I have no clear impression of what his views were on these crucial points,” said a leading American expert on science policy who asked not to be named because the workshop was private. He nevertheless left an impression of “great smoothness,” this scholar said, adding, “He and his more senior Chinese colleague clearly did not have deep misgivings about plugging ahead with gene editing, and I sensed no exposure to the sorts of ethical debates our guys are routinely involved in.”

Das spricht alles gegen einen Einzelgänger. He Jiankui räumt ein, vier Personen hätten Bescheid gewusst, da gehört vermutlich auch Michael W. Deem, sein Doktorvater dazu.