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Chinese scientist sentenced to 3 years for changing embryo genomes

Chinese scientist He Jiankui was sentenced to jail for modifying embryo genomes

Court of Shenzhen sentenced scientist He Jiankui to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 3 million yuan (around 429.000 USD). Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that with Jiankui’s illegal experiment, three children were born with genes modified.

He Jiankui wanted to give the babies the ability to be immune from HIV. In his experiment, eight couples participated the infertility treatment program. All of the participating men were infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and women were healthy. Gene change occurred in the stage of vitro fertilization. As a result, twin girls with altered genes were born, an AP scientist reported in November 2018. Immediately after that, an investigation was launched in China, and another woman became pregnant during the experiment.

He Jiankui established his laboratory and several “genetic companies” in Shenzhen after studying in the United States. According to him, before his experiment with human embryos, he conducted research on mice and monkeys for several years.