Imprisonment for scientist who created the first genetically modified human infants
The Chinese researcher, who sparked a global scandal last year when he announced that the first genetically modified human infants had come to the world, was sentenced to serve three years in prison, the Chinese state news agency reported.
He was also sentenced to pay a fine of 3 million yuan (about 384,000 euros), according to the same source.
Ho Jianqui announced in November 2018 that he was able to bring into this wolrd twin girls with modified DNA that made them AIDS-safe (their father was a carrier of HIV). The Chinese authorities, then accused him of being too loose with this kind of scientific activity, ordered that any such investigation must be terminated immediately and announced that a police investigation would be launched.
He was sentenced today by a court in Shenzhen, the metropolitan area of southern China, where he conducted his investigation for “illegally modifying embryos for reproduction,” New China agency said.
The agency noted that three genetically modified babies were born based on the scientist’s research.
The Chinese authorities had confirmed in January 2019 that a second woman was giving birth to another genetically modified fetus in addition to the twins, but the birth of the baby has not been confirmed until now.
He, a former assistant professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology, as well as two other scientists, were convicted of unlawful medical practices and violating the rules and ethics of the Chinese scientific community, the New China agency said.