China convicts researchers in gene-edited baby controversy

International

In this Oct. 10, 2018, photo, Chinese scientist He Jiankui speaks during an interview at his laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China’s Guangdong province. Chinese state media says the researcher He has been sentenced to three years for practicing medicine illegally. He Jiankui was also fined 3 million yuan. Two others were also sentenced on the same charge. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

BEIJING (AP) — Three researchers involved in the births of genetically edited babies have been sentenced for practicing medicine illegally, Chinese state media said Monday.

The report by Xinhua news agency said lead researcher He Jiankui was sentenced to three years and fined 3 million yuan ($430,000).

Two other people received lesser sentences and fines. Zhang Renli was sentenced to two years in prison and fined 1 million yuan. Qin Jinzhou received an 18-month sentence, but with a two-year reprieve, and a 500,000 yuan fine.

He, the lead researcher, said 13 months ago that he had helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies, twin girls born in November 2018. The announcement sparked a global debate over the ethics of gene editing.

He also was involved in the birth of a third gene-edited baby.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trending Stories