Claude Bernard stated in 1865: “Man is becoming the overseer of creation, an inventor of phenomena, and this respect we shall never be able to circumscribe the power that he may acquire over nature through future progress in the experimental sciences.” Fast forward to this Monday, when a Chinese scientist announced he had engineered the first genetically edited babies. Researcher He Jiankui claims to have altered the gene of embryos using the clustered regularly interspaced palindromic repeats (CRISPR) enzyme, to make embryos resistant to HIV infection. Using the enzyme, Dr He disabled the CCR₅ gene, which makes the protein HIV needs to enter cells. He then used in vitro fertilisation to implant the embryo in the mother’s womb. Twin girls went to term earlier this month, according to He. Although he is yet to provide any evidence or data to back his claims, that did not stop 122 Chinese scientists condemning his actions as “crazy” and “a huge blow to the global reputation and develo...

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