More than 100 scientists, a lot of them in China, have condemned as "crazy" and unethical altering human genes after a geneticist claimed he had changed the genes of twin girls to create the first gene-edited babies.
A message sent through Ministry of Science and Technology's website wasn't immediately answered.
He Jiankui at the conference in Hong Kong on Wednesday.
China on Thursday ordered to stop the work that led to the birth of gene-edited twins.
'Resolutely dealt with'The scientist is likely to face a barrage of questions from institutions in Shenzhen, as well as from the Ministry of Science and Technology.
"The nature of this incident is extremely bad, which has seriously damaged the image and interests of the Chinese scientific and technological community", said Huai Jinpen, party secretary of the China Association for Science and Technology.
Berkeley's Jennifer Doudna said in a statement that "it is imperative that the scientists responsible for this work fully explain their break from the global consensus that application of CRISPR-Cas9 for human germline editing should not proceed at the present time". Scientists have long anxious about the implications for humanity of such genetic engineering. If the Chinese authorities confirm that the babies were born, that would be in violation of current regulations, Xu said.
Qiu noted in Hunan province in 2012, three researchers were detained and then sacked along with three officials who approved trials of a vitamin A-enriched genetically modified rice on schoolchildren without their consent.
"In the beginning we did not understand what it was they were really doing".
Dr He Jiankui, announced on Monday that he had used the gene-editing technique Crispr to alter embryos of twin girls, whose father is HIV-positive, to prevent them from contracting the virus.
At the Second International on Human Genome Editing the University of Hong Kong, Nobel laureate and biologist David Baltimore said he did not think the work was medically necessary. That's why summits like the one held this week are put together, so that scientists can work together to come up with rules on how to utilize such incredible power over life.
Just a few hours after the news was released, 122 scientists from universities around the world, including Peking University, Stanford University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, jointly released a statement on Weibo that strongly denounced the use of genome-editing on humans. "I'm grateful that he appeared today, but I don't think that we heard answers".
Across the border in Shenzhen, institutions are distancing themselves from He.
Currently, China's National Health Commission has requested an immediate investigation into the case after the hospital at which He claimed to have obtained his approval documents denied having been involved in the research, according to CNN. He, who has reportedly been suspended from his post at the Southern University of Science and Technology since February of this year, knows the stances of his many peers and did it anyway.