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U.S. Agencies Lack Regulatory Teeth for Overseas Gene Editing

Nov. 27, 2018, 7:50 PM

A Rice University genetic researcher is unlikely to face legal or regulatory repercussions in the U.S. for allegedly participating in creation of the world’s first genetically modified babies in China.

Michael W. Deem, a professor of bioengineering at Rice in Houston, told the Associated Press he worked with Chinese researcher He Jiankui in Shenzhen, China, to edit the genes of human embryos that resulted in the birth of twin girls, a global first.

If He’s unsubstantiated claims about the births prove to be true, there could be professional ramifications for Deem and any other collaborators even if there are no...

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