And so He Jiankui has been set free after three years in a Chinese prison. What will become of him? Antonio Regalado from MIT Technology Review is the journalist who made the CRISPR-baby scandal explode in 1998 and is probably the best-informed source right now. Regalado writes that “it’s unclear whether He has plans to return to scientific research in China or another country,” but expects that “he’ll find a place in China’s entrepreneurial biotech scene”. Maybe in a low-profile niche as cloner Woo-Suk Hwang did after falling into disgrace several years ago in South Korea?
There are more questions than answers also about the current and future health of the children edited by He and about where the whole field of embryo editing is going. To learn more, here is our reading list:
“Chinese scientist He Jiankui, creator of first ‘CRISPR children’, released from jail” by Antonio Regalado, MIT Technology Review (full text provided by Genetic Literacy Project) .
“As creator of CRISPR babies near release from prison, where does embryo editing stand?” by Jon Cohen (Science)
“How to protect the first CRISPR babies prompts ethical debate”, by Smriti Mallapathy (Nature)
“The CRISPR children” by Vivien Marx (Nature Biotechnology)