He Jiankui claims that he and a team of researchers have helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies: twin girls whose DNA he said he altered. Photo: AP

‘We’re in the dark’: Chinese health officials unaware of research on ‘world’s first gene-edited babies’

  • Authorities say they were not told about the controversial experiment that researchers claim to have carried out in China
  • Research to switch off HIV-related gene not independently verified
Topic |   China science

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He Jiankui claims that he and a team of researchers have helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies: twin girls whose DNA he said he altered. Photo: AP
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Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen

Stephen Chen investigates major research projects in China, a new power house of scientific and technological innovation. He has worked for the Post since 2006. He is an alumnus of Shantou University, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, and the Semester at Sea programme which he attended with a full scholarship from the Seawise Foundation.

Alice Shen

Alice Shen

Alice is a Hong Kong economy and business reporter at the South China Morning Post. Born in central China and raised in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, she studied biology, economics and journalism in Peking University and Boston University.