STANFORD (CBS SF) — Stanford University researchers have been cleared of playing any role in a former post-doctoral scholar’s controversy use of gene editing technology on human embryos for intended implantation and birth.

Chinese scientist Jiankui He studued at Stanford in 2011-2012 and created international headlines and criticism when he altered the genes of twin girls when they were embryos to try to give them protection against possible future infection with the AIDS virus.

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Scientists worldwide have condemned the work as unethical and medically unnecessary.

Stanford launched an internal investigation to make sure none of its researchers aided He in anyway. On Tuesday, they announced the results of their probe and cleared three faculty members of any wrongdoing.

“The review found that the Stanford researchers expressed serious concerns to Dr. He about his work,” the university said in a release. “When Dr. He did not heed their recommendations and proceeded, Stanford researchers urged him to follow proper scientific practices, which included identifying an unmet medical need, securing informed consent, obtaining Institutional Review Board (IRB) approval and publishing the research in a peer-reviewed journal.”

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The university also found that He falsely claimed to have IRB approval for his research.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Rice University in Houston said that school was continuing to investigate the possible role of one of its faculty members.


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