No one knows exactly how He Jiankui, on leave from Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, did it. Scientists gathered in Hong Kong at an worldwide summit on human genome editing will have to wait until Wednesday to hear He describe his work in more detail. He said the twins were born a few weeks ago, though the births have yet to be verified.
Even without any independent confirmation, as the Chinese researchers are not willing to release information regarding the family, their claims have sparked strong criticism.
He said that, as there now existed a convenient and practical method to prevent HIV infection, using genome editing for preventive purposes was like "using a cannon to shoot a bird". An American scientist, Michael Deem of Rice University, also worked on the project. Gene editing on humans is banned in the USA, notes the report, because modifying genes and making changes in the DNA could possibly move from one generation to the next and there is an ever-present threat to the health of other genes as well.
In this October 9, 2018 photo, Zhou Xiaoqin, left, loads Cas9 protein and PCSK9 sgRNA molecules into a fine glass pipette as Qin Jinzhou watches at a laboratory in Shenzhen in southern China's Guangdong province.
In interviews, He Jiankui defended his work. In one of those videos, He strongly objects to calling children whose genes have been edited "designer babies" and answers his own question, "Why HIV?" with "safety and value", noting that 100 million people have a "natural genetic variation" in the gene CCR5 that he altered with what he calls "gene surgery".
"No gene was changed except the one to prevent HIV infection", He said in the video, adding that the girls are as safe and healthy as any other babies. "Society will decide what to do next", he said.
"Grossly premature and deeply unethical", is how noted USA bioethicist Henry Greely of Stanford University characterised the claim.
He had apparently been on leave from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen.
When He's claims became public, the university issued a statement saying his work had "seriously violated academic ethics and standards". University officials said they had no knowledge of his research and had launched an investigation. An investor relations representative for Harmonicare Medical said it is investigating the researcher's claims when reached by telephone Tuesday.
A worker places an embryo in a storage tube at a laboratory in Shenzhen.
On Monday, China's National Health Commission ordered an immediate investigation by local authorities in Shenzhen and Guangdong province, according to Xinhua.
"Not only do I see this as risky, but I am also deeply concerned about the lack of transparency", said Zhang, a scientist at MIT's Broad Institute.
In recent years scientists have discovered a relatively easy way to edit genes, the strands of DNA that govern the body. Feng Zhang, one of the inventors of CRISPR editing, has called for a global moratorium on using the technology to create gene-edited babies.
So far the tool has only been used on adults to treat deadly diseases, and the changes only affected that person. Editing sperm, eggs or embryos is different because such changes can be passed down.
That type of gene editing is banned in the USA except in lab research.
"It's a somber moment because gene editing is a technology of tremendous promise and potential", Fyodor Urnov, associate adjunct professor of genetics at the University of California, Berkeley, told The Washington Times.
The particular method used is common in lab research but not precise or controlled enough for embryos, said Columbia University cell biologist Dietrich Egli, who called it "essentially genome vandalism". It's not clear if the participants understood the true nature of the experiment, which was described as an "AIDS vaccine development" program.
Mr He says he was able to neutralise a gene called CCR5, which forms a protein doorway that enables HIV to enter a cell. He told the AP that since HIV is "a major and growing public health threat" he finds such experiments "justifiable".
Outlook for Thursday to Saturday: Staying unsettled, with Thursday seeing another mild, wet and potentially very windy spell. Batten down the hatches because the country is set to be hit by a barrage of wind and rain rolling in from the Atlantic.
Additionally, certain users can not set Win32 tools including Notepad to be the default program for certain file types. This is the kind of bug that leaves me scratching my head, wondering what changed to break such a thing, and why.
The technology, he said, was better than the previous film and that was the reason they chose to title the film as 2.0. The theme of the film is that the world is not only for humans but also for birds and animals.
Macron made it clear that the hike in fuel taxes on diesel and petrol that will come into force in January, will not be scrapped. The yellow vests movement has stirred major demonstrations and unacceptable violence, according to Macron.
After the hearing, the representatives from nine parliaments signed a declaration calling for global rules to govern the internet. Collins could publish them using United Kingdom parliamentary privilege, but he said on Tuesday that he would not do so for now.
He also produced it alongside Judy Hofflund with Angus More Gordon and Matthew Jenkins serving as executive producers. This fantastical, spellbinding adventure has Artemis trying to find his father who has mysteriously disappeared.
He also spoke about his research with organizers of an worldwide conference on gene editing in Hong Kong , the AP reported. Yet many scientists say the experiment was premature and the potential benefits not worth the risk.
In South Africa, the brutal murder of Karabo Mokoena by her boyfriend, Sandile Mantsoe elicited continental and worldwide outrage. The United States says eliminating violence against women and girls "requires all of us" to take action.
They haven't really wanted to speak to me before it. "By making these changes he will have no benefits of training up high". But I think he's awesome. "Weirdos do weird things", continued Whyte, before again admitting he hopes Fury wins.
Pilot falls asleep and misses destination by almost 50km
The last incident involving a pilot error in Australia took place past year when 5 people were killed in a crash in Melbourne. It said: "The issue became apparent when air traffic control was unable to contact the pilot in-flight".
Trump talks tough to China before G20 meeting
Japan's Nikkei managed to edge up 0.4 per cent, but MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan was all but flat. To discuss China-U.S. relations amidst a trade war: Zhao Hai is a research fellow with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
USA service members killed in Afghanistan
The casualties come just days after another USA soldier was killed in Afghanistan's Nimroz province on Saturday. Since the start of 2015, 58 Americans have been killed, President Ashraf Ghani said earlier this month.
Microsoft tops Apple as world's most valuable company
Microsoft's market capitalization has reportedly reached $812 billion, while Apple's market cap was lower by $1 billion. Global demand for smartphones has slowed in recent years, making it more hard for Apple to increase its revenue.