His baby gene editing shocked ethicists. Now he's in the lab again

John Ruwitch
npr.org
2023-06-20

In a mostly empty coworking office on the outskirts of China's capital, a scientist whose name is etched in history is trying to stage a comeback.

He Jiankui announced nearly five years ago that he had created the first gene-edited babies, twin girls named Lulu and Nana. The news sent shockwaves around the world. There were accusations that the biophysicist had grossly violated medical ethics; some critics compared him to Dr. Frankenstein.

And he paid a price. He was swiftly detained and a Chinese court later sentenced him to three years in prison for "illegal medical practices."

About a year ago he got out, and says he took up golf. Then something unexpected happened.

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