PROBE OF U.S. PROFESSOR OVER POSSIBLE INVOLVEMENT IN CREATION OF GENE-EDITED BABIES
Rice University in Texas is investigating bio-engineering professor Michael Deem after it was reported that he was involved with the work of He Jiankui, the Chinese researcher who claimed earlier this week to widespread condemnation to have created the world's first gene-edited babies.
Deem, who was He's adviser at Rice for three-and-a-half years and published three papers with him, told AP he was in China when families whose embryos were involved gave consent and said he absolutely believed they understood the risks.
Rice said it didn't believe any of the clinical work of gene-editing the embryos was done in the U.S., but that it, quote, "violates scientific conduct guidelines and is inconsistent with ethical norms of the scientific community and Rice University" no matter where the work took place.
Worldwide criticism of what He did, which the researcher said was intended to alter DNA to provide greater resistance to the AIDS virus, charged that it was dangerous, irresponsible and unethical, with some accusing that it amounted to human experimentation.