Currently the controversial CRIPSR scientist Jiankui presents his research a few hours ago at the Second International Human Genome Arrangement Summit. He also answered questions from members of the mass and media members who were gathered with the gene experts, Robin Lovell-Badge (Crick Institute) and Matt Porteus (Stanford).
Only two days after the publication of the reports, Jiankui used CRIPSR to regulate human embryos, and twin girls, Lulu and Nana were born.
The researcher claims that twins born by CRISPR were born. How will science respond?
The mood of the meeting is tight. Prior to these reports, there was confidence among people in the area, making sure they were one step ahead with CRISPR gene editing technology.
But suddenly, the forbidden fruit was broken, some even worried about the public's trust.
Jiankui focused on removing a gene called CCR5, which is critical for HIV virus entry into cells. It aimed to mimic a natural mutation that provided resistance to HIV. This work has begun a pending and disturbing international debate.
A video of stories and a work published by Jiankui has created widespread condemnation on scientific and ethical grounds.
If the claims are true and absolutely reasonable, this is the first time that CRIPSR has been used to create permanent changes in human genomes – changes to be passed on to future generations.
Jiankui himself is experienced in using CRIPSR – he first performed pilot experiments in mice, monkeys and then in non-living human embryos. She also says that she has performed a genomic analysis of embryos before implantation and began working with six more pairs in this trial before she paused. One of the additional women may be in the early stages of pregnancy.
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China is a great scientific force. The ability of Chinese researchers is highly respected, but it is difficult to predict if it is difficult to wait for the future to be transparent and prudent in international regulation.
The host organization of Jiankui – South University of Science and Technology – issued a statement stating that it was released during the trial and was not held in its institutions.
Other Chinese researchers participating in the conference are among the strongest critics of this work. Some said it violated the rules governing genetic research in China.
As much as possible, the results seem clear. Today's presentation said it was a well-planned and implemented project, with Jiankui carefully communicating the results of the video first and then following the conference with his speech to share his data. Details of the process, specific mutations and analyzes used to screen for potentially harmful lar off-target kullanıl genomic changes are also available today.
On the data shown, genome editing seems to have been achieved. While real mutations do not mimic naturally occurring mutations in CCR5, we cannot say whether the twins are resistant to HIV – and we never actually know.
He also stated that the study was sent to be published in a peer-reviewed journal.
A few questions
Robin Lovell-Badge and Matt Porteus, the members of the panel, asked questions after finishing the question of Jiankui – the entire presentation and Q & A are ready to be displayed here.
Nobel laureate David Baltimore, Summit President, spoke on the floor after the panel session. He expressed concern that the study did not comply with the commitments made at the first Gene Regulatory Summit held three years ago.
Unless security issues were addressed, it would be irresponsible to continue with any clinical use of the germline arrangement.
I don't think it's a transparent process. Only after the incident and after the children were born. I don't think it's personally medically necessary.
I think there is a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community due to lack of transparency.
He emphasized that these comments came from him completely.
A statement from the organizers of the summit will be released tomorrow, and I hope it will repeat the need for precautionary measures, openness in planning and full transparency.
And despite the shock, I hope this is what we get – ultimately CRISPR technology is slow, expensive and used at the level of non-population individuals.
There won't be a tsunami, but there will be a lot to discuss. And just as we do with the emergence of other expensive medical sites, we'll have time for heart transplants, test tube babies and somatic gene therapy. This is bigger, but I still believe we can turn to a consensus and find the right way.