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China probe faults scientist for gene-edited babies work

A Chinese investigation into reports of the world’s first gene-edited babies seems to have confirmed their existence, and investigators say the scientist responsible acted on his own and will be punished for any violations of law.

China’s official news agency said Monday that investigators in Guangdong province determined that the scientist, He Jiankui (HUH JEEN-qway), for the sake of fame evaded supervision of his work and violated research norms. It did not say what laws or regulations he may have broken.

The scientist stunned the world in November by claiming that he had altered the DNA of twin girls at conception to try to help them resist infection with the AIDS virus.

The claim has been widely criticized as medically risky and unethical. A second pregnancy also reportedly is underway.

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