A group of leading scientists has declared that it’s still too soon to try making permanent changes to DNA that can be inherited by future generations, as a Chinese researcher claims to have done.

The scientists gathered in Hong Kong this week for an international conference on gene editing, the ability to rewrite the code of life to try to correct or prevent diseases.

He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher, center, speaks during the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. He made his first public comments about his claim to have helped make the world's first gene-edited babies. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher, center, speaks during the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. He made his first public comments about his claim to have helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Although the science holds promise for helping people already born, the scientists said Thursday that it’s irresponsible to try it on eggs, sperm or embryos because not enough is known yet about its risks or safety.

He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher, speaks during the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. He made his first public comments about his claim to have helped make the world's first gene-edited babies. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher, speaks during the Human Genome Editing Conference in Hong Kong, Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018. He made his first public comments about his claim to have helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

The conference was rocked by the Chinese researcher’s claim to have helped make the world’s first gene-edited babies, twin girls he said were born earlier this month.

Source: The Associated Press

Tags: Categories: News Science