Rogue Scientist Defends GeneEdited Babies

first_imgStay on target CRISPR-Modified Babies Cursed With Short LifespanAntidote to Deadly Box Jellyfish Venom Discovered He Jiankui, a Chinese researcher who claims to have created the world’s first genetically edited babies, is defending his actions as “safe and ethical.”“For this specific case, I feel proud, actually,” He told the audience of Wednesday’s Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, as reported by The New York Times.The only thing the scientist apologized for, in fact, was that the news had “leaked unexpectedly.”According to the Associated Press, He allegedly revised embryos for seven couples during fertility treatments.“Two beautiful little Chinese girls, named* Lulu and Nana, came crying into this world as healthy as any other babies a few weeks ago,” he boasted in a YouTube video.The girls are home now with mom Grace and dad Mark.Grace began her pregnancy via in vitro fertilization (IVF)—but with a twist: After inseminating her eggs, an embryologist sent in “a little bit of protein,” plus instructions for a gene surgery intended to protect the girls from future HIV infection.Only one pregnancy has so far been successful, but another may be on the way, according to New Scientist.Speaking at the Hong Kong conference, He said that “there is another potential pregnancy,” but it is still at an early stage.This week’s announcement set the scientific community alight; an angry mob of researchers carried proverbial pitchforks and torches, calling He’s conduct unethical, the Times said.The Southern University of Science and Technology, from which the scientist is on non-paid leave from teaching through January 2021, heard the news “through media reports.”“The university was deeply shocked by this event and has taken immediate action to reach Dr. Jiankui He for clarification,” it said in a statement.SUSTech made it very clear that the project was conducted off campus (though He has a lab at the school) and without official approval. An independent committee is expected to investigate the incident and release its results to the public.China’s National Health Commission also wasted no time ordering an investigation into the claims.“For the sake of people’s health and scientific principles, NHC will follow the matter closely and make public the investigation results in a timely manner,” the agency said.In its current form, CRISPR/Cas9 is poised to become the gene-editing tool of the future.The technology is banned in the United States, but that hasn’t stopped rogue Chinese researchers like He.* Names of the twins and their parents have been changed by the He Lab for privacy reasons.More coverage on Genetic Test Lets IVF Patients Screen Out Risky EmbryosGenome Editor CRISPR Targets AIDS Virus HIVScientists Use Low-Key CRISPR Technique to End Marfan Syndromelast_img read more

Amazon Key Now Delivers to Ford Lincoln Vehicles

first_imgStay on target Amazon Employees Join Sept. 20 Global Climate WalkoutGeek Pick: Amazon Smart Plug Puts Alexa in Your Walls As if granting a stranger access to your house or garage weren’t creepy enough, Amazon Key now delivers to high-end vehicles.Following last year’s rollout to GM and Volvo cars, the retail giant has partnered with Ford to leave begin leaving parcels in select Ford and Lincoln automobiles.“It’s a convenient, secure way to ensure your packages are delivered directly to you when you are out for the day, anticipating bad weather, or wondering if your package is safe,” the Ford Motor Company wrote in a blog announcement.It’s also a convenient way to ensure your car is hijacked, damaged, or missing parts.Key by Amazon—available only to Prime members—is open to select Ford 2017 and newer models with FordPass Connect, as well as Lincoln 2018 and later vehicles equipped with Lincoln Connect.The program allows delivery drivers to unlock your car by linking Amazon Prime and FordPass or Lincoln Way accounts.Through In-Car delivery, eligible Ford and Lincoln owners now can have their Amazon Prime packages delivered to their vehicles (via Ford Motor Company)As with the firm’s home or garage drop-offs, an accompanying mobile app provides notifications throughout the process—including a heads up before delivery takes place, and confirmation the parcel was dropped off and the vehicle locked.“Plus, you are always in control,” the blog said. “So if you change your mind the day of delivery, you can block access to your car.”In which case delivery will be made to the building where your automobile is parked (be it a house, apartment, or office), or you can reschedule for another day.For now, Key In-Car delivery is available in 50 U.S. cities, including 13 new locations in North Carolina, Ohio, California, Michigan, Connecticut, Nevada, Virginia, Oklahoma, Nebraska, New York, and Delaware.And, as Engadget pointed out, you have to station your vehicle within two blocks of the delivery address in a publicly accessible area (that means ticketed parking garages are off limits).This is just the “first wave of what’s possible,” according to Ford, which tipped on-demand car wash services.“People everywhere are actively looking for ways to simplify their lives,” the blog said. “At Ford, we are committed to working with these service providers to bring valuable, convenient options directly to our customer—or at least their car.”More on’s Alexa Will Speak Spanish in the US This YearAmazon Will Launch 3,236 Satellites to Offer Broadband Internet from SpaceFord’s ‘Self-Braking Trolley’ Takes the Stress Out of Grocery Shoppinglast_img read more