Soundbites: Ethical concerns surround gene-edited babies

November 29, 2018

Soundbites: Ethical concerns surround gene-edited babies

Earlier this week, He Jiankui, a scientist in China, announced he had genetically edited two human embryos, which were then implanted in a mother's womb, and reportedly resulted in a pregnancy and the live birth of twins.  The news sparked an uproar among scientists and commentators worldwide by raising safety and ethical concerns. It's the first time a scientist has publicly claimed to deliberately and permanently change the genes in a human embryo that developed into an infant. Such changes could be passed down to future generations. Experts worry about the possibility of unintended consequences.

Malia Fullerton, associate professor of bioethics and humanities at the University of Washington School of Medicine, provides context in the video below. 


Terms of appropriate usage of file downloads

  • News reporters and news organizations may freely republish and distribute videos, still images and audio files produced by UW Medicine and the University of Washington Health Sciences schools (Dentistry, Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Public Health, Social Work).
  • Works must be attributed/credited appropriately (for example, “UW Medicine” or “University of Washington School of Pharmacy” – as denoted in the file) and must not be used for commercial purposes.
  • These visual and audio files may not be used to exploit or misrepresent UW Medicine or the University of Washington.
  • UW Medicine often licenses still images from Thinkstock but cannot grant republishing rights. You may not republish single image files credited to Thinkstock.
  • Logos of UW Medicine and University of Washington Health Sciences schools may not be republished without explicit permission. Contact us by phone or email: 206.543.3620 or