The organizers of the conference, which has been turned upside down gene discoveries edit child with bated breath as to what is at the center of controversial scientific "breakthrough" will speak when he goes on stage.
Chinese scientist Jiankui He is due to speak at the summit of biomedical experts in Hong Kong just a few days after the publication states that created the first genetically altered the world's children.
The videos that are on YouTube, university professor He said that girls are twins, born a few weeks ago, had their DNA modified to prevent them from contracting HIV.
The move – which would be the first health care if it is true – has caused heated debate among the scientific community, with many of the problems of awareness due to the lack of reliable data and exposing the healthy embryos and the child to the gene editing.
The organizers of the Second International Summit on Human Editing Genome, which was opened on Tuesday, also apparently did not know about the work of Ho.
Biologist and the top of the chair, David Baltimore, told AFP on the sidelines of the conference that he did not have any idea about "whether (it is) a reliable or not."
"I have not seen a single study, and I do not know what he plans to demand," Baltimore said.
Keynote speakers were besieged by the press on the opening day, after the Conference has attracted the attention of the international community on the back of children's gene discovery.
John Christodoulou, Department of Genomic Medicine at the University of Melbourne, said that it seemed that the study was "to bypass the usual ethical regulatory process."
"But if what he has done is to change human embryos, and for them to be brought to the birth … there is a real risk of so-called off-target effects," he added.
"This technology can create mutations or break the chromosomes in other areas other than where we hope that this is the target."
Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner from the University of Sussex, told AFP on Tuesday that "it would be very wise to make sure that it does not occur as a standard."
Anyone who was educated at Stanford University and works in the laboratory in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, said the DNA of twins has been changed by a CRISPR, a method that allows scientists to remove and replace the chain to determine precisely.
Gene editing & # 39; is a potential fix for hereditary diseases, but it is very controversial, because the changes will be passed on to future generations, and ultimately can affect the entire gene pool.
– "immediate investigation" –
Aya Renzong, former vice president of the Chinese Ministry of Health Ethics Committee, told reporters in editing gene conference lax rule in China means that scientists who break the rules often do not experience any punishment, and thinking about serving as a "toothless".
Jiankui he should join a panel discussion Wednesday and Thursday, talking about the development of moral principles and safety standards for editing human genes.
But as skeptical experts have questioned Claiming a breakthrough, his research came under fire on a number of other fronts, too.
The National Commission of Health of China has ordered "immediate investigation" of the case, the official Xinhua news agency reported, while in the hospital Shenzhen means that approved research program has denied any involvement.
University where he works, and distanced himself – said he was on unpaid leave from February – and called his claim "suras & # 39; oznym breach of scientific ethics and norms."
He did not respond to a request for comment by AFP.
Question about editing human DNA with & # 39 is highly controversial, and strictly controlled in many countries.
But this is not the first time Chinese researchers are experimenting with human embryonic technology.
In September last year, scientists Sun Yat-sen University has used an adapted version of the gene-editing to correct disease-causing mutation in human embryos.
There is also a history of fraud in China's academic community – including scandal last year that led to the withdrawal of the 100 "hacked" papers.
A joint statement Monday from the group of 100 scientists in China's critics argue that he Jiankui and called them "a big blow to the global reputation and development of biomedical research in China."