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China jails scientists behind first genetically engineered babies

DOUNIAMAG-HONG KONG-CHINA-SCIENCE-GENETICS-RESEARCH-ETHICS

He Jiankui at the event where he publicly announced the experiment. | Image: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images

A Chinese court has sentenced the scientist behind the world’s first gene-edited babies, He Jiankui, to three years in prison, saying that the researcher’s team “crossed the bottom line of ethics.” Alongside his prison sentence, The Guardian reports that He was also fined 3 million yuan (around $430,000).

He Jiankui was sentenced alongside two colleagues. Zhang Renli was fined 1 million yuan (around $143,000) and sentenced to two years in prison, while Qin Jinzhou was fined 500,000 yuan (around $71,000) and sentenced to 18-months in prison, with a two-year reprieve.

“The three accused did not have the proper certification to practice medicine, and in seeking fame and wealth, deliberately violated national regulations in scientific…

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