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CRISPR has been used to create genetically modified babies. Ethicist Ronald Sandler explains why people are so upset about it?

Matthew Modoono/Northeastern University

The Chinese researcher who announced that he has created the first genetically edited human infants has clearly violated scientific and ethical norms, said Northeastern ethicist Ronald Sandler.

“This is a pretty clear case of the unethical use of a powerful new technology,” said Sandler, a philosophy professor who directs the university’s Ethics Institute.“But the broader ethical issues about reproductive genetic engineering are extremely complex.”

Earlier this week, MIT Tech Review reported that a team of researchers at the Southern University of Science and Technology in China had been trying to use CRISPR-Cas9, a tool that enables scientists to target and edit specific sections of the genome, to deactivate a gene that makes people susceptible to HIV.

After the Associated Press reported that one of the couples in the trial had already successfully given birth to twin girls, the lead scientist, He Jiankui, quickly released five YouTube videos defending the work.

Read the full story on News at Northeastern

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