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Chinese scientist defends 'world's first gene-edited babies'
2018-11-28 10:11:34

A Chinese scientist who claims to have created the world's first genetically edited babies has defended his work, the BBC reports.

Speaking at a genome summit in Hong Kong, He Jiankui, an associate professor at a Shenzhen university, said he was "proud" of his work.

Prof He Jiankui says twin girls, born a few weeks ago, had their DNA altered as embryos to prevent them from contracting HIV.

He said "another potential pregnancy" of a gene-edited embryo was in its early stages.

The scientist says his work is about creating children who would not suffer from diseases, rather than "making designer babies with bespoke eye colour or a high IQ."

His claims, which have caused widespread outrage, have yet to be independently verified.

Mr He said eight couples had signed up voluntarily for the experiment, and one couple later dropped out.

He added that he had initially funded the experiment by himself.