Early on Monday morning, reports began circulating of a major breakthrough in China. Thanks to the marvels of gene editing, twin girls had apparently been born with a fantastic superpower: they were naturally resistant to HIV.
Depending on your position this result may sound either hugely exciting or downright terrifying. Gene editing (and “designer babies”) is a fascinating frontier in scientific research, but one with unpleasant echoes of the horrors of eugenics and the dystopian vision of Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World.
However, despite the earnest interviews in which Professor He Jiankui and his collaborators described their work, for now their claims must be taken with a big fistful of salt.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies