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    Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV) "For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."

    Proverbs 27:17 (KJV) "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

    "Words--so innocent & powerless as they are, as standing in a dictionary, how potent for good & evil they become, in the hands of one who knows how to combine them!"  Nathaniel Hawthorne

    CHINA is producing secret gene-edited “Frankenstein” babies not yet known to the rest of the world, a leading expert has claimed.

    Scientists can changed the human genetic code more easily that ever (Pic: GETTY )

    Scientist He Jiankui was condemned around the world last year where he brazenly announced in a YouTube video he had produced the first gene-edited humans in history – dubbed “Frankenstein babies" by some critics.

    Dr Pete Mills, the Assistant Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, attended the scientific conference in Hong Kong where the world first learnt about the experiment.

    Speaking to Daily Star Online, he said the scientific community was aware at the time of the creation of other mutant baby pregnancies in China – and the women would have come to the end of their pregnancies around now.

    However, information on the cases ceased to be released following an international outcry – and China’s repressive state and censorious laws could be to blame.
    “I don’t know what the fate of this [the pregnancies] is, but at the time, there was another continuing pregnancy. There may yet be be one or more gene-edited children,” Dr Mills explained.

    “We really do not know what the consequence will be ”

    Assistant Director of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics

    Jiankui was criticised harshly because of the ethical questions about experimenting on humans, and last month it was reported China was planning tougher laws and regulations.

    “We may or may not hear about those [secret babies],” Dr Mills continued, explaining that the Chinese scientists behind the experiment have still not published their full data following the outcry. He said there was no evidence Chinese people have a different attitude to experiment on humans, but insisted the experiment by Jiankui and his team was “absolutely not acceptable.”

    Dr Mills described the experiments on humans as impossible to justify “where we really do not know what the consequence will be and if there will be terrible consequences”.

    Human genetics are extremely complex, and small changes to one gene, understood to influence one body part, can unexpectedly effect other organs or bodily systems.

    Just weeks ago, it was reported that the two gene-edited babies might have shorter life expectancies, as people with altered genes appear to be more susceptible to infection.

    Shortly after the babies were announced – which shocked many top scientists as Jiankui was not a known leader in the field – reports circulated that Jiankui was on house arrest and little has been heard from him since.

    Furthermore, as Jiankui has previously argued, the privacy of the small girls and their family is an important factor.

    The babies, known only as Lulu and Nana, were just single cells when a technology known as CRISPR editing was used to remove a gene known to offer the HIV virus a way to infect people.
    As Daily Star Online also reports today, CRISP has made gene-editing experiments far cheaper and easier than ever before.

    This raises the prospect that non-state backed entities could create mutant babies who are already out there, Dr Mills says, while stressing this is unlikely right now.

    Just a couple of weeks ago, it was reported that a Russian molecular biologist is seeking approval to genetically modify more human embryos.

    Molecular biologist Denis Rebrikov told Nature he is considering implanting gene-edited embryos into women, possibly before the end of the year if he can get approval.

    “We as a species need to come to terms with this,” Dr William Hurlbut, a senior research scholar in neurobiology at Stanford Medical School, commented at CNBC’s Healthy Returns conference last month.

    “For the first time in the history of life, we can affect the future of our evolution.”

    © Liam Deacon

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