The disgraced Chinese scientist who led the genetic editing of human babies was sentenced to three years in prison today for undertaking illegal medical practices.
Source: Daily Mail
He Jiankui shocked the scientific community when he announced in 2018 the birth of twins whose genes he claimed had been altered to confer immunity against HIV.
According to the Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, Dr. He was also issued with a fine of three million yuan (around £327,900 / $429,300).
The court in Shenzhen, China, sentenced Dr He for ‘illegally carrying out the human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction’, Xinhua reported.
Two of Dr He’s fellow researchers were also sentenced.
Zhang Renli was handed a two-year jail term and was fined to the order of one million yuan (£109,200 / $143,100).
Meanwhile, his colleague Qin Jinzhou was given 18 months in jail, a two-year suspension and a fine of 500,000 yuan (£54,600 / $71,600).
The court determined that the trio had not obtained qualifications to work as doctors and had knowingly violated China’s regulations and ethical principles, Xinhua reported.
They had acted ‘in the pursuit of personal fame and gain’ and seriously ‘disrupted medical order’, the court had said in its verdict.
In addition, Xinhua have reported that a third gene-edited baby was born as a result of Dr He’s experiments — a fact that had not previously been confirmed.