In China, Scientist He Jiankui Was Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Changing the Embryo Genome
According to the investigation, in 2016, former associate professor of the Southern University of Science and Technology, He Jiankui decided to make commercial profit by modifying the human genome, after which he entered into a conspiracy with Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou. The accomplices forged materials on the compliance of the experiment with moral and ethical standards, selected several married couples in which the men were HIV-infected, and by deceiving and intentionally hiding the truth, they misled them, giving the impression that the experiment was conducted legally. Scientists have changed the DNA of embryos conceived using in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a new gene editing method (CRISPR-Cas9).
Their goal was to create in infants immunity to the HIV virus, the carriers of which were their fathers. To do this, scientists have tried to "disable" in the embryos one single CCR5 gene, responsible for the encoding of the protein that allows HIV to enter the cell. At the same time, the attackers did not notify about the change in the genome of the embryos of doctors who performed operations on artificial insemination.
According to the case file, as a result of these experiments, two women became pregnant and gave birth to a total of three girls with altered DNA. For reasons of confidentiality, the trial was closed.