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Reports: Chinese researcher who claimed to have gens-edited babies is missing




A Chinese researcher was missing a week after his announcement that he had successfully processed baby's DNA, Chinese media reports reported.

Researcher He Jiankui said last week in which he had changed the embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments. He said that two of the processed embryos were healthy twins. Their DNA had been altered to try to make them resistant to infection with the HIV virus. There is no independent confirmation of what he has done.

Over the weekend, Chinese media reported being under house arrest. He was last seen on Wednesday during a performance at a conference in Hong Kong.

He is an employer, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, denying reports that the scientist was detained.




"Right now, no one is exactly right, only the official channels are," said a South China Morning Post spokesman. She refused to give further comments.


China's government ordered Thursday the hiring of He and his team.

Deputy Minister of Science and Technology Xu Nanping said on Thursday the state television channel CCTV that his ministry strictly opposed the efforts allegedly produced twin girls who were born earlier this month. Xu described the actions of the team as illegal and unacceptable and said an investigation had been ordered. Mainstream scientists have also condemned the experiment.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Read the latest posts by Michelle Robertson and send her news tips to mrobertson@sfchronicle.com .

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