The whereabouts of Chinese scientist He Jiankui, who claims to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies, remain unknown amid rumours that he has been arrested.
Reports claimed He was placed under effective house arrest in Shenzhen after making an appearance at the Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong last Wednesday.
However, claims of He’s detention were dismissed by his former-employer, Southern University of Science and Technology, according to South China Morning Post. The university declined to elaborate further.
The scientist sparked global controversy last week when he announced in a YouTube video that he had successfully used a gene-editing tool to modify the DNA of two embryos.
Apple Daily on Sunday reported that the scientist had been brought back to Shenzhen by the university’s president, Chen Shiyi. The two also had a six-hour meeting on He’s controversial research.
Chen is currently under house arrest on campus, the report said, adding that there were security personnel standing guard on university grounds.
When asked about He’s reported arrest, a spokeswoman for the Shenzhen-based university told South China Morning Post: ‘Right now nobody’s information is accurate, only the official channels are.’