Late last year, a Chinese researcher shocked the scientific community when he announced that the first gene-edited humans had already been born. He Jiankui barreled past an emerging consensus that the technology wasn’t ready for use and, once it was, should be reserved for otherwise untreatable diseases. Instead of respecting those boundaries, He did much of his work without any clear institutional oversight.
Rather than target an incurable genetic disorder, He Jiankui focused on something for which we have both preventative measures and treatments: HIV infection. He did so by using CRISPR gene