Researcher in middle of gene controversy defends his work

The researcher, He Jiankui, says he's "proud" of his claim to have created the world's first genetically engineered human twins despite a chorus of criticism.
2:25 | 11/28/18

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Transcript for Researcher in middle of gene controversy defends his work
Now to new fallout over the designer baby experiment causing international outrage. The Chinese researcher who claims to have genetically altered twin girls before they were born is speaking out and Paula Faris has the latest. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, everyone. The lead Chinese researcher says he's been secretly working on this for three years and consulting with experts even those here in the United States. He didn't intend for the news to leak the way it did. Well, this specific case, I feel, I feel proud actually. Reporter: Overnight this doctor boasting about his controversial claim that he and his team have created the world's first genetically engineered human twins defending his work against a chorus of criticism. First I must apologize that this result leaked unexpectedly, taking away from the community of the full data. I couldn't guarantee to you that he did what he claimed. Reporter: Dr. Jennifer dudna,he gene technology used in this experiment says the claims, if true, are a violation of accepted guidelines. All of those things were ignored in this study and it's extremely unacceptable and it's highly upsetting. Reporter: It's banned because it may cause unpredictable genetic defects for future generations and damaging effects may not become apparent for years, and at least one American professor, Michael deem, of rice university said he helped work on the research in China. The school now launching an independent investigation into deem's role. In an interview with the associated press, deem claims he was in China with the families at the time they gave consent and absolutely believed they understood the risks. Now, again, the DNA of these twin girls was altered so they can resist HIV but who knows what other diseases the gene altering may have opened them up. That's the big question. Dr. Ho says the girls will be monitored until they're 18. He reluctantly admitted separately that another gene edited pregnancy is under way. They're monitoring it closely but these babies' lives have been irrevokably changed and have no say in the matter. We have the Instagram model -- white Instagram model

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