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Subject: Re: fx-discuss: FX Claim GDNA - Germ-line DNA altered B4 2020
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 Back on 3 March, the judge asked a couple of questions about He Jiankui's work namely

"Is there any evidence that the edited genome extends to the germ line?" and

"Do we believe this work was legally permitted when and where it occurred?"

5 replies from 2 people were sent.

Perhaps this now needs an update.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/30/gene-editing-chinese-scientist-he-jiankui-jailed-three-years

Jailed for 3 years does seem to clarify that it wasn't legal. Note that answers previously given query whether this is relevant to the claim.


However this article also includes

"Earlier this month, MIT Technology Review released excerpts from an early manuscript of He’s work. It casts serious doubts  https://www.theguardian.com/science/2019/dec/04/china-gene-edited-baby-experiment-may-have-created-unintended-mutations on his claims to have made the children immune to HIV.

The HIV virus gets inside cells by latching on to a protein encoded by the CCR5 gene. But a small percentage of people carry a natural mutation that the virus cannot attach to, making them effectively immune to the disease. He attempted to recreate this mutation by rewriting the DNA in the embryos that couples donated. Fyodor Urnov, a researcher at the University of California, Berkeley, told MIT Technology Review that He’s claim to have recreated the CCR5 mutation was “a deliberate falsehood”. Instead, the team created new mutations in the target gene and apparently elsewhere in the genome, too, the consequences of which are unknown."

If it is new mutations, this may not be able to rely on previous answers indicating what was done is germline editing.

This suggest the edits are "similar":

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/614764/chinas-crispr-babies-read-exclusive-excerpts-he-jiankui-paper/

"But while they “expect” these edits to confer HIV resistance by nullifying the activity of the gene, they can’t know for sure, because the edits are “similar” but not identical toCCR5 delta 32, the mutation that occurs in nature. Moreover, only one of the embryos had edits to both copies of theCCR5gene (one from each parent); the other had only one edited, giving partial HIV resistance at best.

—Hank Greely:“Successfully” is iffy here. None of the embryos got the 32-base-pair deletion to CCR5 that is known in millions of humans. Instead, the embryos/eventual babies got novel variations, whose effects are not clear."

I suspect, but am not completely sure that, if CCR5 edits were previously described as germ-line and "one of the embryos had edits to both copies of theCCR5gene" then what was done was germ-line editing. But if someone with more knowledge than me could confirm this, that would perhaps be helpful.

I suspect/hope "one of the embryos had edits to both copies of theCCR5gene" may get us closer to confirming as the claim requires "there is a documented or otherwise verifiable case of intentional human germ-line genetic manipulation before 1/1/2020".


Regards

Chris

(7886 crandles disclosure: holding +312)


 

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