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Work Suspended

China has announced that it suspended the work of He Jiankui, who announced he'd genetically altered human babies, the New York Times reports.

He announced earlier this week the birth of twin girls whose genomes had been edited as embryos to make them immune to HIV infection. While He's work drew broad disapproval, including a letter from more than 100 Chinese researchers condemning it, and sparked investigations, he said during his talk at that International Human Genome Editing Summit that he was proud of his work. Still, He said then that though a third edited baby was expected, his trial had been paused.

Xu Nanping, China's vice minister of science and technology, says that though He's work is still being investigated, it appears that he violated Chinese laws and regulations, the Times reports.

"It's flagrantly violated our national regulations and flagrantly broken the scientific world's ethical bottom line," Xu told China Central Television, a state broadcaster, according to the Washington Post. "It's shocking, unacceptable, and we firmly oppose it."

The Post adds that the International Human Genome Editing Summit also admonished He in a consensus statement it issued that called his claim to have gene-edited embryos "deeply disturbing" and "irresponsible." The organizing committee says "the scientific understanding and technical requirements for clinical practice remain too uncertain and the risks too great to permit clinical trials of germline editing at this time."