What CRISPR-Baby Prison Sentences Mean for Research

January 6, 2020

(Nature) – There has been much speculation about whether other scientists would follow in He‘s footsteps, especially given the ease of using the most popular gene-editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9. But the punishments are “definitely a deterrent to similar misconduct in China”, says Wei Wensheng, a gene-editing researcher at Peking University in Beijing. On 30 December, the People’s Court of Nanshan District of Shenzhen announced that, in the pursuit of “fame and profit”, He and two colleagues had flouted regulations and research and medical ethics by altering genes in human embryos that were then implanted into two women, according to Xinhua News Agency.