A few months ago, Chinese scientist He Jiankui revealed that he had genetically edited human embryos and implanted them in mothers, and at least two live births behaved. The news shook the genetic community, as scientists around the world condemned the work and demanded that the guidelines be established to prevent these experiments from continuing.
Now, how the fate of Him is being decided by the Chinese authorities, the Associated press reports that a professor from the United States and the Nobel laureate Craig Mello from the University of Massachusetts received periodic updates due to his position as a non-remunerated consultant for the Chinese biotech company .
The report reveals that Mello exchanged emails with him about the genetic work that he is doing. However, it is clearly clear from emails, which were obtained through a public records request, that Mello was not in agreement with him about the work.
Mello strongly criticized the decision to pursue the genetic edition of a human embryo that was to be transported by a mother and questioned the intentions of him. In what would be one of his final exchanges, he revealed to Mello that one of the women had become pregnant with the modified embryo, causing a rapid wrath of the Nobelist.
"I'm glad for you, but I would rather not stay up-to-date," replied Mello. "I think this is not a real unusual medical need, and therefore do not support the use of CRISPR for this indication. You are risking the health of the child you are editing and, in my opinion, there is no significant risk of transmission from father to embryo with IVF ".
"I do not see why he does this," Mello continued. "I would like the patient to be lucky to have a healthy pregnancy."
He claimed that his intention was to prevent the transmission of HIV from viral parents to children, but this statement was not enough to protect him from the extended criticism. According to reports, Chinese authorities keep him in government housing while deciding how to proceed, and there is a real risk of receiving a death sentence for his work at risk.