UN: Experts to develop oversight standards for gene editing

LONDON — The World Health Organization is convening an expert meeting next month to develop global standards for the governance and oversight of human gene editing, months after a Chinese researcher rocked the scientific community with his announcement that he had created the world's first gene-edited babies.

In a statement Thursday, the U.N. health agency announced it had chosen an expert panel to examine the scientific, ethical, social and legal challenges linked to gene editing.

Last November, researcher He Jiankui claimed he altered the DNA of twin girls to make them resistant to HIV, in a move criticized by many scientists as irresponsible.

In January, Chinese investigators said He acted on his own and would be punished for any legal violations. Another embryo yet to be born reportedly resulted from He's experiment.

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