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Chinese 'baby editing' scientist retreats from flagship company

Co-founder of Direct Genomics replaces He Jiankui as chairman and buys out stake

HONG KONG -- He Jiankui, the scientist whose unprecedented editing of the genes of Chinese babies shocked the world medical community last year, has cut ties with his flagship private company, Direct Genomics Biotechnology.

He is now under police investigation in China after a preliminary inquiry found in January that he had breached regulations and committed forgery in raising funds and organizing the secretive project involving the gene-editing tool CRISPR and intended to give the babies immunity from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen fired He from his teaching and research position at the school.

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