CRISPR babies in China

November 30, 2018

In November 2018, Chinese scientist He Jainkui announced the birth of the first genetically tailored humans using the gene editing. 

This announcement has already raised many concerns and questions. On Friday, November 30, 2018 at SV 1717 there was a discussion on this specific case and on long-term issues that it raises for science and policy.

The following topics were addressed:

  •   What was claimed and what was actually done in China ?                  Didier Trono
  •   What is the medical significance and ethical propriety?                       Roger G. Clerc 
  •   What risk, governance and consent issues are associated?                Marie-Valentine Florin 
  •   What are the short and long-term policy implications?                         Ken Oye

Short bios of the panelists:

Didier Trono, MD, is a Professor for genetics and virology at EPFL and helps stir the Swiss efforts towards exploiting new technologies in the field of health. Once focused on HIV/AIDS and gene therapy, his research is now exploring how epigenetics is shaping human biology and how its understanding can open new avenues in medicine. 

Roger G Clerc, PhD, is a Professor for molecular biology and epigenetics at the Biozentrum University of Basel and a former Hoffmann la Roche principal scientist in metabolic disease area.

Marie-Valentine Florin is the Executive Director of the EPFL International Risk Governance Center, a multi-stakeholder platform and a convening place at the interface between science and policy.

Kenneth Oye, PhD, is a Professor in social sciences and engineering and Director of the Program on Emerging Technologies at MIT.  He is a research affiliate of the Synthetic Biology Center, the Center for Biomedical Innovation and the Broad Institute Foundry. He is currently a visiting professor in SV and in the EPFL International Risk Governance Center.


Watch the full article here: