In 2018, Chinese scientist He Jiankui used a gene-editing tool, CRISPR, on two babies trying to make them resistant to HIV. Many criticized him for not following ethical rules and for the uncertainty about the babies’ future health. There were also concerns about whether the parents fully understood the experiment. He Jiankui was later sentenced to three years in prison for illegal medical practices. His actions started a debate on the safety and ethics of gene editing.
Here are some places to go to learn more about this story:
- “The Transformative, Alarming Power of Gene Editing: A rogue scientist showed that crispr gives humans the ability to transform ourselves. But should we?” by Dana Goodyear. The New Yorker. This is a long-form article about the story and its ethical implications.
- Here is a wikipedia article about He Jiankui.
- There is a documentary about this story. I have not viewed or vetted this documentary, so use your own discretion.