Update on Illegal and Unethical Research in Gene Editing

With a shock that rippled around the medical research world in 2018, a Chinese researcher unethically and illegally edited the DNA of 3 human embryos, implanted them in their mother’s wombs, who then gave birth. This is referred to as Heritable Human Genome Editing (HHGE) and represents a clear breach of the Belmont Principles of Autonomy (Informed Consent), Beneficence (Benefit outweighs Risk), and Justice (Protection of the Vulnerable). Presentations at the summit included several from Chinese government and research officials who assured that steps had been taken to punish the offender and prevent a future occurrence, including accountability and stricter oversight. No update was given of the 3 children produced, who may still be alive and living with the damage of the nearly 40 off-target, unexpected mutations that were detected after their birth. If these children eventually reproduce, their children will inherit these mutations.

Please read more here: BBC Update on Illegal and Unethical Research

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