Dr Daley said that just because the first case may have been a mis-step, this "should in no way, I think, lead us to stick our heads in the sand and not consider the very, very positive aspects that could come forth by a more responsible pathway". He spoke softly and haltingly, and it wasn't clear if the other "potential pregnancy" that he referred to was still viable. Many other scientists were astounded to hear his claims with some strongly condemning it and others interested to hear more, especially in terms of gene editing for HIV. A well-known geneticist Professor George Church of Harvard University, defended the attempts of gene editing to create immunity to HIV. The most recent government pronouncement, a 2017 document from the science and technology ministry, said that the research involves great risks and urged rigorous supervision.
A Chinese scientist on Monday said he has created the world's first in a controversial medical procedure that threatens to shake the foundation of bioethics. "We still need to understand the motivation for this". He said he had submitted his research to a scientific journal for review and had not expected to be presenting it at the conference.
The professor, who was educated at Stanford University in the USA and works from a lab in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said the twins' DNA was modified using CRISPR, a technique which allows scientists to remove and replace a strand with pinpoint precision. He gave official notice of his work long after he said he started it - on November 8, on a Chinese registry of clinical trials.
Several times during the session, He seemed puzzled by the deep ethical questions posed to him.
The current gene editing debate comes as China moves ahead aggressively with what might be the other defining technology of the 21st century, artificial intelligence. "It's just nearly surreal", said Eric Topol, founder and director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, who said he has seen some of the data behind the experiment. "We only found out about it after it happened, and after the children were born", Baltimore said. David Baltimore, a biologist who chairs the worldwide conference, said the gathering's goal is to decide "what we consider to be right and wrong". "We don't know. He said he confirmed that essentially they'd done the hormone test for whether or not the woman was pregnant".
'Not following these guidelines would be an irresponsible act, ' he added.
The institutions affiliated with He, including his university - the Southern University of Science and Technology - and the Shenzhen hospital where he purportedly received ethical approval for the project, have said that they had no knowledge of his work.
Jennifer Doudna, one of the pioneers of genome editing from the University of California, Berkeley, said that the experiment appeared to be a "clear break" from the cautious and transparent approach recommended by global leaders.
Harmonicare Medical Holdings, which owns the Shenzhen hospital, said in a filing Tuesday that it believed signatures on an application to the hospital's medical ethics committee had been forged, and that the committee never met to review He's proposal.
Southern University of Science and Technology of China in Shenzhen said in a statement they were not informed of the scientist's human gene editing work and have also opened an investigation as this has seriously violated its academic ethics and standards.
When the embryo is three to five days, was used CRISPR - already widely known method of genetic editing in which a sequence of genes and remove unnecessary gene.
But this is not the first time Chinese researchers have experimented with human embryo technology, and last September scientists at Sun Yat-sen University used an adapted version of gene-editing to correct a disease-causing mutation in human embryos.