The shockwave that He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysics researcher from Department of Biology, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China gave the world at the very ending of 2018 has partially died down but given birth to new controversies and discussions that do not seem to vary off too easily. He Jiankui claims that the gene edited took place in his laboratory that resulted in twin baby girls Lulu and Nana. He also claims that the genetic modification will give them the ability to resist any future infection of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). CRISPR gene editing technology is believed to be used at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen to modify the DNA during in-vitro fertilization. But, the university claims to have no involvement in this groundbreaking experiment.
These claims have disrupted the beliefs of many organizations and bioethicists. Jiankui has been fired from the university leaving behind a trail of thoughts and debatable issues. This whole incident has given rise to an ethical discussion surrounding this topic. The big question now is that should gene editing be left to scientists alone? And how can we determine ethics when it comes to modifying human life? The Chinese government is facing some major challenges as many experts and bioethicists feel that this debate is not a question of ethics but politics. The questions directed at Jiankui, his team, university and organizations involved are believed to be defining the ethics of gene editing less and society and politics more. This issue has put genetic engineering into a new light. CRISPR gene editing technology that was used by He Jiankui can permanently modify the human genepool challenging the opportunities genetic engineering can offer. Some of the controversial and disturbing experiments performed on human in the past have been thaton babies and prison inmates.