WORLD NEWS

China Convicts Researchers In Gene-Edited Baby Controversy

Dec 29, 2019, 10:56 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 4:49 pm
FILE: A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natura...
FILE: A visitor views a digital representation of the human genome at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. Each color represents one the four chemical compenents of DNA. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

BEIJING, China (AP) — Three researchers involved in the births of genetically edited babies have been sentenced for practicing medicine illegally, Chinese state media said Monday.

The report by Xinhua news agency said lead researcher He Jiankui was sentenced to three years and fined 3 million yuan ($430,000).

Two other people received lesser sentences and fines. Zhang Renli was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 1 million yuan. Qin Jinzhou received an 18-month sentence, but with a two-year reprieve, and a 500,000 yuan fine.

He, the lead researcher, said 13 months ago that he had helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies, twin girls born in November 2018. The announcement sparked a global debate over the ethics of gene editing.

He also was involved in the birth of a third gene-edited baby.

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China Convicts Researchers In Gene-Edited Baby Controversy