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China Proposes Draft Regulations for Gene Editing

China's health authority has announced new draft regulations for increased oversight of gene-editing work, Bloomberg reports.

This comes on the heels of researcher He Jiankui announcing in November that he had edited the CCR5 genes of twin girls as embryos in an attempt to make them resistant to HIV. This revelation was met with broad condemnation and has led to calls for better guidelines and standards for gene-editing work.

According to Bloomberg, the regulations China has proposed would classify clinical trials involving gene editing and other experimental approaches into high- or low-risk categories and would subject them to approval by national authorities. It adds that regulation of these projects would fall under the auspices of the State Council, the cabinet that oversees China's government.

Additionally, Bloomberg says researchers and hospitals that don't follow the proposed regulations would potentially face life-long bans on research, loss of business licenses, and criminal charges.

China's state new agency Xinhua reported last month that a preliminary investigation found He violated Chinese law in conducting his gene-editing work.

The draft regulations are open for public comment through March 27, Bloomberg adds.