Why China Is the Brave New World of Editing Human DNA

The headline-making births last November of the world’s first gene-edited babies (twin girls) was unsurprising in one way: The scientist involved was from China. As part of its effort to dominate scientific spheres including biotechnology, China has taken the lead in testing uses of Crispr, a tool newly available to researchers enabling them to alter DNA codes simply and inexpensively. Chinese scientists were the first to test Crispr in monkey embryos, in non-viable human embryos, in adult humans, and now in creating designer babies. Now China is confronting accusations that its regulatory system is overlooking the ethical considerations and medical risks.