07:42 GMT +323 September 2019
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    Second Woman Carries Gene-Altered Baby in China Amid Criticism - Reports

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    The scientific community was shocked last year after a researcher from Shenzhen He Jiankui announced in an interview with the AP news agency that he had successfully altered the genes of twin girls born in November, in order to prevent them from contracting HIV.

    He Jiankui recently stated that there is "another potential pregnancy" involving a second couple at a human genome forum in Hong Kong, according to the Xinhua news agency.

    The researcher has reportedly "privately" organised a project team that involved foreign staff and used "technology of uncertain safety and effectiveness" for illegal human embryo gene-editing, according to Xinhua.

    The government has reportedly confirmed the existence of the second mother, who is still pregnant and will be put under medical observation, the Xinhua news agency reported, citing sources close to the investigation.

    He will be "dealt with seriously according to the law", and his case will be "handed over to public security organs for handling", Xinhua reported.

    READ MORE: Gene-Edited Babies: 'This Experiment Was Irresponsible & Unethical' — Scholar

    The announcement of the existence of gene-altered babies has prompted global objections and an investigation by Chinese health authorities with the National Health Commission ordering officials to "seriously investigate and verify" his claims.

    The scientific community is worried that genome-editing may cause harm not only to individuals but also to future generations that inherit these same alterations.

    Related:

    China Investigates Experiment Involving Gene-Altered Babies Amid Criticism
    He Does It Again? Scientist Claims More Gene-Modified Baby(s) Now on the Way
    Chinese Scientist Who Created 'Gene-Edited Twins' Under Probe
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    gene editing, baby, investigation, China
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