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Thread: He Jiankui (34) reported missing

  1. #1
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    He Jiankui (34) reported missing

    https://www.kron4.com/news/world/chi...ing/1638728871

    https://beta.scmp.com/news/china/sci...-detained-over

    This comes after a controversial research in a genetics experiment

    HONG KONG (KRON) - The Chinese scientist who made international headlines after he claimed he helped produce the world's first genetically edited babies is now reportedly missing.

    According to The South China Morning Post, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, China disappeared after giving a presentation last week in Hong Kong regarding his controversial experiment.

    The publication reported the Southern University of Science and Technology denied claims that Jiankui had been detained.

    Jiankui said he altered embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments, with one pregnancy resulting thus far. He said his goal was not to cure or prevent an inherited disease, but to try to bestow a trait that few people naturally have ? an ability to resist possible future infection with HIV, the AIDS virus.

    There is no independent confirmation of He?s claim, and it has not been published in a journal, where it would be vetted by other experts. He revealed it Monday in Hong Kong to one of the organizers of an international conference on gene editing that is set to begin Tuesday, and earlier in exclusive interviews with The Associated Press.

    ?I feel a strong responsibility that it?s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,? He told the AP. ?Society will decide what to do next? in terms of allowing or forbidding such science.

    But another Source is saying about


    A university in southern China has dismissed claims that its controversial former employee He Jiankui, the scientist who claimed to have produced the world?s first gene-edited babies, has been detained.

    A spokeswoman for the Shenzhen-based Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTC) said: ?Right now nobody?s information is accurate, only the official channels are.?

    But she declined to elaborate on this matter, saying: ?We cannot answer any questions regarding the matter right now, but if we have any information, we will update it through our official channels.?

    Over the weekend, some media outlets reported that the scientist had been brought back to Shenzhen by the university?s president.

    The reports claimed he was being kept under effective house arrest after he made an appearance at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong on Wednesday.

    The scientist has been branded in some quarters as ?China?s Frankenstein? after he released a YouTube video last week in which he claimed that gene-edited twins had been born in China.

    He claimed that his team of researchers had modified the sisters? embryos to effectively switch off an HIV-related gene because their father has the virus.

    He was then condemned by Chinese health officials, who said they knew nothing of the experiment.

    He is also facing an investigation from the Ministry of Science and Technology, which has ordered him not to do any research.

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    https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry...b0cd916faf700c

    The Crispr Issue has been named as a point of contention here for why He Jiankui went missing

    Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who triggered a firestorm of controversy last week when he claimed to have produced the world’s first gene-edited babies, is rumored to be missing, according to local news outlets.

    The South China Morning Post noted that He’s whereabouts have not been known since last Wednesday when the scientist described his controversial gene-editing experiment at a summit in Hong Kong.

    Local reports suggested the scientist had been placed under house arrest by Chinese authorities, who’ve characterized He’s work as a violation of Chinese law. But on Monday, the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, where He had been an associate professor, told the Morning Post that the scientist had not been detained.

    “Right now nobody’s information is accurate, only the official channels are,” a university spokeswoman told the paper. She, however, declined to elaborate further, saying the institution could not “answer any questions regarding the matter right now.”

    The university has distanced itself from He’s gene-editing work. The scientist had been on leave since February, the institution has said, stressing that it had no knowledge of his controversial research.

    He sent shockwaves through the global scientific community last week with his claim that he’d used a gene-editing technology known as CRISPR-Cas9 to alter the embryonic genes of a pair of twin girls. He, who said he was “proud” of his work, also revealed that a second pregnancy was underway related to his research.

    He’s experiment was met with widespread condemnation and skepticism, with scientists and other experts questioning both the ethical implications and the scientific soundness of his work.

    Chinese authorities said Thursday that He’s research had “blatantly violated China’s relevant laws and regulations.”

    “It has also violated the ethical bottom line that the academic community adheres to. It is shocking and unacceptable,” Xu Nanping, a vice minister for science and technology, told state broadcaster CCTV.

    China’s national health commission said it would “investigate and deal with any unlawful behavior” by He, The Guardian reported.

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    https://nypost.com/2018/12/04/chinas...-gone-missing/

    Yes here is more

    A Chinese scientist, who claimed he helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies, is missing, a report said on Monday.

    He Jiankui of Shenzhen, China, gave a presentation in Hong Kong last week on his controversial experiment and nobody seems to know his whereabouts, The South China Morning Post reported.

    The Shenzhen-based Southern University of Science and Technology dismissed claims that He has been detained, the paper reported. A spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the matter, saying, “We cannot answer any questions regarding the matter right now,” The Morning Post reported.

    The spokeswoman said the school will keep the media updated.

    He claimed to have altered the DNA of twins Lulu and Nana to try to make them resistant to infection with the AIDS virus.

    The claim has not been backed up in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, nor is there any independent confirmation. Mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.

    A group of leading scientists gathered at the international Human Genome Editing Conference last week, where He made his claims.

    Although the science holds promise for helping those already born, the scientists said Thursday that it’s irresponsible to try it on eggs, sperm or embryos because not enough is known yet about its risks or safety.

    Speaking with the AP, the researcher said that he felt a “strong responsibility that it’s not just to make a first, but also make it an example,” adding that “society will decide what to do next” whether it will be allowed or forbidden.

    It’s “unconscionable … an experiment on human beings that is not morally or ethically defensible,” said Dr. Kiran Musunuru, a University of Pennsylvania gene editing expert and editor of a genetics journal.

    He has said a second pregnancy may be underway.

    Last week, He posted a video to YouTube to discuss the claim and its implications.

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    Senior Member Jumaki15's Avatar
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    All but one of these has the same general information in them.

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    http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/...editing-babies

    Here is another take but this one is George Church speaking in defense of Dr He Jiankui's actions.

    When a researcher in China startled the world earlier this week with the revelation that he had created the first gene-edited babies, only one prominent scientist quickly spoke out in his defense: geneticist George Church, whose Harvard University lab played a pioneering role in developing CRISPR, the genome editor used to engineer embryonic cells in the hugely controversial experiment. Church has reservations about the actions of He Jiankui, the scientist in Shenzhen, China, who led the work.

    The fiercely debated experiment, described by He at a meeting in Hong Kong, China, today, used CRISPR to try to make the babies resistant to HIV by crippling a receptor, CCR5, that the virus uses to infect white blood cells. But Church also thinks there’s a frenzy of criticism surrounding He that exaggerates the severity of what one critic gingerly called his “missteps” but another called “monstrous.”

    ScienceInsider spoke with Church shortly before He’s lecture in Hong Kong, but Church had seen the data earlier. This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.

    Q: What do you think of the criticism being heaped on He?

    A: I’d just as well not hang myself out to dry with someone I barely know, but I feel an obligation to be balanced about it. I’m sitting in the middle and everyone else is so extreme that it makes me look like his buddy. He’s just an acquaintance. But it seems like a bullying situation to me. The most serious thing I’ve heard is that he didn’t do the paperwork right. He wouldn’t be the first person who got the paperwork wrong. It’s just that the stakes are higher. If it had gone south and someone had been damaged, maybe there would be some point. Like what happened with Jesse Gelsinger [who died in a 1999 gene therapy experiment]. But is this a Jesse Gelsinger or a Louise Brown [the first baby born through in vitro fertilization] event? That’s probably what it boils down to.

    Q: Do you think the experiment is unethical?

    A: People have said there’s a moratorium on germline editing and I contributed to reports that called for that, but a moratorium is not a permanent ban forever. It’s a checklist of what you have to do. It really seems like he was checking off the published list [see p. 132] by the National Academy of Sciences and added a few things of his own. At some point, we have to say we’ve done hundreds of animal studies and we’ve done quite a few human embryo studies. It may be after the dust settles there’s mosaicism and off targets that affect medical outcomes. It may never be zero. We don’t wait for radiation to be zero before we do [positron emission tomography] scans or x-rays.

    Q: When did you learn about it and what was your reaction?

    A: About a week ago, and I was hoping he did everything right. You don’t have that many shots on goal. He’s not doing it the way I’d do it, but I’m hoping it doesn’t work out badly. As long as these are normal, healthy kids it’s going to be fine for the field and the family.

    Q: What do you think of his decision to cripple a gene to prevent HIV infection?

    A: It struck me as bold choice to do CCR5. In some ways it doesn’t make sense, but in another way it makes more sense than β-thalassemia or sickle cell, both of which you can prevent with preimplantation genetic diagnosis. [These genetic diseases are two prime targets of many CRISPR researchers.] The real issue is what’s the best first case.

    Q: But there’s a relatively low rate of HIV infection in Chinese women. This isn’t like in, say, KwaZulu Natal in South Africa, where the medical need to protect young women from the virus is great.

    A: This was a stretch, there’s no doubt about it. There could be a bunch of small risks. Quite clearly the major motivator was testing CRISPR.

    Q: What do you think of the criticism the experiment doesn’t address an “unmet medical need”?

    A: The unmet medical need is there is no cure or vaccine for HIV. And in that sense, there’s more of a medical need than there is for β-thalassemia, for which there is an alternative, unless both parents are homozygous. [If both parents have two copies of the mutant gene, all of their offspring will develop the disease.]

    Q: What about concerns that CRISPR will make unintended edits in the genome, so-called off-target effects?

    A: I’m not saying they’ll never be an off-target problem. But let’s be quantitative before we start being accusatory. It might be detectable but not clinical. There’s no evidence of off-target causing problems in animals or cells. We have pigs that have dozens of CRISPR mutations and a mouse strain that has 40 CRISPR sites going off constantly and there are off-target effects in these animals, but we have no evidence of negative consequences.

    Q: Would you have been part of this experiment?

    A: Probably not. But I probably wouldn’t have put the sequence of the 1918 flu virus or smallpox virus in the public domain. This is a slightly lower risk than putting potent pathogenic sequences in the public domain.

    Q: There’s some worry that the backlash to He’s experiment will harm the field.

    A: In the early days of gene therapies when there were far fewer preliminary studies, there were three deaths that set back the field. It may have just made us more cautious. And gene therapy is certainly back in force. And I don’t think these kids [the babies whose genomes He edited] are going to die.

    Q: What about the argument that He wasn’t transparent enough and should have published preliminary work and done more to make his intentions clear to the scientific community before implanting the embryos?

    A: Those are valid critiques, and he probably will pay some price. I’m a little extreme on the transparency end of the spectrum [Church’s website lists more than 100 affiliations he has with funders, companies, and nonprofits], and it’s nice to have company on that. But at some point, we should start focusing on the health of the babies.

  6. #6
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    If you slow down before starting threads & look at the sub-forum headings in this part of the forum you'll see there are 3 sections :


    * Missing Persons. (for mis pers with social media that can be linked)

    * Missing Persons without social media

    * Found/No Longer Missing - which is usually only used when a missing thread ends with the missing person being located alive & well. When that happens the mods update titles & move threads out of the first 2 subs & into Found/No Longer Missing

    If it ends in the missing person being found deceased, obviously the mods update the title & move them to one of the death subs. They go to Non-MDS deaths if we've never found social media for them, or to Article Discussion if we did find social media & Olivia has created an mds article for them.






    So if you do have social media for He Jiankui, please just add it to the thread when you have time






    ALSO :


    This is O/T for this thread but there are hundreds of misplaced threads all over the fucking place now & I can't remember where we were discussing this before, so while I'm talking about where to post stuff ...


    I realised last night that it might be confusing for newer members when I keep saying "don't post in Article Discussion unless there's an MDS article for the person" since there are a lot of threads in Article Discussion that were pretty clearly started with no MDS article.


    You can tell which ones were started with no MDS article because the article isn't linked in the threadstarter's first post/s. Instead, a mod has come into the thread later & added the MDS article link several posts down.

    There are many Article Discussion threads started by me that fit this description, which I'm sure makes me look like a hypocritical arsehole for telling other people they need an MDS article before posting in there. No doubt there are newer members & lurkers thinking "if it's not the right thing to do why aren't all those older members getting told they posted in the wrong place too"?



    So I'll explain why so many threads that were started without an MDS article ended up in Article Discussion -



    It isn't because we were making mistakes & posting in the wrong sub.



    I didn't even post most of my own Article Discussion threads in Article discussion. In all the years I've been on MDS I've only created threads in the Article Discussion sub a handful of times.


    So why do I have so many threads in there?


    Because, just like many other members, I originally posted those threads in either Non-MDS Deaths or Missing Persons & later - *after Olivia decided to create MDS Articles for those people* - a link was added to my thread for the newly created MDS Article, the thread titles were changed & my threads were moved by a mod from the place I originally posted them & into Article Discussion.


    TL;DR if the MDS article isn't linked in the threadstarter's first posts in an Article Discussion thread, in 99.9% of cases it's because the thread was started in another subforum & later moved to Article Discussion by a mod.


    Only mods can create articles, change existing thread titles, or move or lock threads. At the moment threads aren't being moved or having their titles changed because no-one has time to do it, but under normal circs threads would be getting moved almost every day.

  7. #7
    Senior Member blighted star's Avatar
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    Back on topic. He Jiankui was doing some seriously messed up shit but they'll probably put him in a lab to secretly work on science that benefits the Chinese govt - while the govt publicly denounce him for good PR of course.

    I'm a lot more worried about Dong Yaoqiong, her family & supporters


    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/d...18-7?r=US&IR=T


    https://www.hongkongfp.com/2018/07/2...spital-report/

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    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...id=mailsignout

    Chinese Gene Editing Scientist May Face Death Penalty

    Following his announcement, the Chinese government launched an investigation into He's claims. According to China’s Xinhua news agency, authorities ordered the suspension of He’s research activities, saying it was “extremely abominable in nature,” and that it violated the laws and ethics of the nation. He was also suspended from the institution where he was working.

    Further intrigue arose when He apparently went missing, however it later emerged he was staying in a government-owned apartment—possibly under some form of house arrest.

    In an article in the U.K.'s Telegraph, some of He’s colleagues have said he could face the death penalty if charges of corruption and bribery are brought against him.

    Robin Lovell-Badge, from London’s Francis Crick Institute, organized the summit where He’s findings were announced. He told the newspaper: “All the reports suggest he [is at a] university owned apartment and there are a quite a number of guards. It’s not clear whether he’s under guard, meaning house arrest or the guards are there to protect him. I suspect both.

    “There is an official investigation led by the ministries of science and health. Lots of people are probably going to lose their jobs. He wasn’t the only one involved in this obviously. So how has he got them to do all this work? He could be had up on all sorts of charges of corruption, and being guilty of corruption in China these days is not something you want to be. Quite a few people have lost their heads for corruption.”

    Since his announcement, He has been dubbed “China’s Frankenstein.” But despite the uproar he continued to defend his work, saying he was proud of what he had done and that his work could lead to disease prevention in millions of children.

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    https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00001-y

    A Chinese court has sentenced He Jiankui, the biophysicist who announced that he had created the world’s first gene-edited babies, to three years in prison for “illegal medical practice”, and handed down shorter sentences to two colleagues who assisted him. The punishments put to rest speculation over whether the Chinese government would bring criminal charges for an act that shocked the world, and are likely to deter others from similar behaviour, say Chinese scientists.

    There has been much speculation about whether other scientists would follow in He‘s footsteps, especially given the ease of using the most popular gene-editing tool, CRISPR–Cas9. But the punishments are “definitely a deterrent to similar misconduct in China”, says Wei Wensheng, a gene-editing researcher at Peking University in Beijing.

    On 30 December, the People’s Court of Nanshan District of Shenzhen announced that, in the pursuit of “fame and profit”, He and two colleagues had flouted regulations and research and medical ethics by altering genes in human embryos that were then implanted into two women, according to Xinhua News Agency. One woman gave birth to twin girls in late 2018; the court said a third baby has been born but did not say when, a revelation that fits with a claim made by He in November 2018 to have implanted a gene-edited embryo in a second woman.

    The court fined He 3 million yuan (US$430,000). Collaborators Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou received lesser prison sentences and fines.


    Why were scientists silent over gene-edited babies?
    The health ministry has also banned the researchers from ever working with human reproductive technology again, and the science ministry has banned them from applying for research funding, according to Xinhua.

    Scientists in China who are currently researching CRISPR for its potential to treat various genetic diseases by modifying cells other than embryos say that they fear He's actions might have a chilling effect on their work, too, even though it is not as ethically fraught.

    Preliminary stage
    He shocked the world’s scientists in November 2018 when he announced that his team at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen had used the CRISPR gene-editing system to edit DNA in human embryos to make them less susceptible to HIV. The edits were designed to disrupt a gene that codes for a protein that allows HIV to enter immune cells.

    Scientists condemned He’s actions, saying that gene-editing technology was too premature to be used for reproductive purposes. They also said the experiment was problematic because it risked introducing a mutation with potentially harmful effects while offering little benefit — the babies were not at high risk of contracting HIV. In the wake of the scandal, researchers called for a moratorium on gene editing in embryos and germline cells.

    At the time, Chinese law academics told Nature that He could face a range of criminal charges, including practising medicine without adequate qualifications, which can be punished by up to ten years in prison, forging ethics documents and skirting laws banning the use of assisted reproductive technologies in people with HIV. He was fired by his university in January last year.


    Reboot ethics governance in China
    The court’s announcement puts to rest the suspicions of some researchers that the government would not bring criminal case against He because of the increased media attention it would generate, says Tang Li, a science-policy researcher at Fudan University in Shanghai. He’s experiments seemed to embarrass the country, and discussion of them was widely censored on Chinese social media. But Tang says the immediate disclosure of the court’s result demonstrates China’s commitment on research ethics. This is a big step forward in promoting the responsible research and the ethical use of technology, she says.

    Although an unpublished manuscript describing the experiments lists ten authors, according to MIT Technology Review, He, Zhang and Qin are the only ones to face penalties so far. The manuscript says Zhang “performed the human embryo microinjections”, MIT Technology Review reports. Zhang, who was affiliated with the Guangdong Academy of Medical Sciences and Guangdong General Hospital in Guangzhou at the time of the experiments, has been sentenced to two years in prison and fined one million yuan. Attempts to obtain a comment from the hospital about whether Zhang still works there were unsuccessful. Qin, an embryologist at Southern University of Science and Technology who was named as the applicant on the experiment listed on China’s clinical-trial website, was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence and fined 500,000 yuan, according to Xinhua. The university has also not responded to Nature’s queries about his current employment status.

    Wei says it is unlikely that He will be able to work again as a researcher at a Chinese institution or university.


    How China is redrawing the map of world science
    The trio’s prison sentences, combined with the research-funding ban, send a powerful message to other researchers doing any type of gene-editing work in clinical trials in China, says Lu You, an oncologist at Sichuan University in Chengdu who was the first to test CRISPR gene-editing in a person, in a trial that modified adult cells — not embryos — taken from patients in order to treat lung cancer. Lu is in the process of publishing tho results. “If I was a newcomer, a researcher wishing to start gene-editing research and clinical trials, the case would be enough to alert me to the cost of such violations,” he says.

    But Wei, who uses CRISPR tools to study how humans respond to microbial diseases, is concerned that the international condemnation that followed He‘s explosive announcement in 2018 might have a wider chilling effect on CRISPR work in China. Wei worries that it might be difficult to get approval to use gene editing tools in clinical trials, including using the tool to edit adult cells, which does not raise the same ethical questions as work in embryos, although he has not heard of researchers facing such issues yet.

    Nature 577, 154-155 (2020)

  11. #11
    Senior Member jennafyre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blighted star View Post
    If you slow down before starting threads & look at the sub-forum headings in this part of the forum you'll see there are 3 sections :


    * Missing Persons. (for mis pers with social media that can be linked)

    * Missing Persons without social media

    * Found/No Longer Missing - which is usually only used when a missing thread ends with the missing person being located alive & well. When that happens the mods update titles & move threads out of the first 2 subs & into Found/No Longer Missing

    If it ends in the missing person being found deceased, obviously the mods update the title & move them to one of the death subs. They go to Non-MDS deaths if we've never found social media for them, or to Article Discussion if we did find social media & Olivia has created an mds article for them.






    So if you do have social media for He Jiankui, please just add it to the thread when you have time






    ALSO :


    This is O/T for this thread but there are hundreds of misplaced threads all over the fucking place now & I can't remember where we were discussing this before, so while I'm talking about where to post stuff ...


    I realised last night that it might be confusing for newer members when I keep saying "don't post in Article Discussion unless there's an MDS article for the person" since there are a lot of threads in Article Discussion that were pretty clearly started with no MDS article.


    You can tell which ones were started with no MDS article because the article isn't linked in the threadstarter's first post/s. Instead, a mod has come into the thread later & added the MDS article link several posts down.

    There are many Article Discussion threads started by me that fit this description, which I'm sure makes me look like a hypocritical arsehole for telling other people they need an MDS article before posting in there. No doubt there are newer members & lurkers thinking "if it's not the right thing to do why aren't all those older members getting told they posted in the wrong place too"?



    So I'll explain why so many threads that were started without an MDS article ended up in Article Discussion -



    It isn't because we were making mistakes & posting in the wrong sub.



    I didn't even post most of my own Article Discussion threads in Article discussion. In all the years I've been on MDS I've only created threads in the Article Discussion sub a handful of times.


    So why do I have so many threads in there?


    Because, just like many other members, I originally posted those threads in either Non-MDS Deaths or Missing Persons & later - *after Olivia decided to create MDS Articles for those people* - a link was added to my thread for the newly created MDS Article, the thread titles were changed & my threads were moved by a mod from the place I originally posted them & into Article Discussion.


    TL;DR if the MDS article isn't linked in the threadstarter's first posts in an Article Discussion thread, in 99.9% of cases it's because the thread was started in another subforum & later moved to Article Discussion by a mod.


    Only mods can create articles, change existing thread titles, or move or lock threads. At the moment threads aren't being moved or having their titles changed because no-one has time to do it, but under normal circs threads would be getting moved almost every day.
    I really appreciate this info...I think I've been doing things wrong for years, but I don't post many threads so I've fallen under the radar. Thank you for this clarification!! ❤️

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