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Chinese government: ‘Babymaker’ He Jiankui has to stop research

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The Chinese ‘baby maker’ He Jiankui, who reported that he has made sure that genetically modified babies were born, must stop his research. That has been determined by the Chinese Ministry of Science.

The department calls the babies ‘of extremely horrible nature’. The scientist would have violated the Chinese law with the modification and acted contrary to scientific ethics.

Lula and Nana

He Jiankui discussed his work yesterday during a conference in Hong Kong.
He Jiankui discussed his work yesterday during a conference in Hong Kong. © AFP

He Jiankui on Monday drew worldwide outrage and disapproval when he announced  the birth of the babies . “Two beautiful little Chinese girls named Lulu and Nana were born a few weeks ago, crying and just as healthy as any other baby,” he had announced via a video on YouTube. 

They are the first people in the world who have been genetically manipulated. Through IVF, the sperm of their father Mark was brought to the egg cell of their mother Grace. Subsequently (they were only one cell at that time) Jiankui says that she has applied ‘gene surgery’ to their DNA. “With that, the entrance gate has been removed so that the HIV virus can enter to infect someone,” he says. As a result, one of the girls for the rest of her life would be immune to AIDS.

The news hit like a bomb. Scientists and ethicists around the world  reacted with indignation  and horror. The Chinese government ordered an investigation.

Pride

The scientist promoted in the US reported later to be proud of his work and that science needs to do more to help people with diseases. Yesterday he   defended his work   during a congress in Hong Kong. He also said that another woman is pregnant who participates in his controversial experiment.

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‘We are making new ocean from the North Pole’

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There have been fewer people at the North Pole than in space. Explorer Bernice Notenboom stood on the top of the earth three times. She became so fascinated by that stark, life-threatening and beautiful place that she wrote a ‘biography’ about it: ‘Arctica’.

The temperature can easily touch minus 60 in the pitch dark winter. Nothing grows, nothing is alive. Not even a bird dares to venture. It is not even land: the Arctic is a collection of floating sea ice floes, full of cracks and icebergs, where the harsh polar wind has free rein.

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New crew on their way to international space station ISS

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For the first time since the failed launch of a Russian rocket, almost two months ago, people have left for space again. 

A Soyuz rocket with three crew members was launched today from the Baikonur space base in Kazakhstan. They came safely into orbit around the earth. 

The crew members are the American Anne McClain, the Russian Oleg Kononenko and the Canadian David Saint-Jacques. They go to the international space station ISS.

In a few weeks back

The crew members are the Rus Oleg Kononen, the American Anne McClain and the Canadian David Saint-Jacques.
The crew members are the Rus Oleg Kononen, the American Anne McClain and the Canadian David Saint-Jacques. © AFP

There they arrive today at the beginning of the evening (Dutch time). A German, a Russian and an American already live in the ISS. They must return to earth in a few weeks. 

Kononenko was in 2011 and 2012 one of the traveling companions of the Dutchman André Kuipers. They stayed in the ISS for more than half a year. Kononenko, McClain and Saint-Jacques are expected to return to earth in the summer. 

At the last launch, on October 11, the crew had to abort the flight and make an emergency landing on earth. That worked, the Rus Aleksej Ovtsjinin and the American Nick Hague remained unharmed. It is not yet known when they still go to the ISS.

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Professor of the absurd claim of Ratelband: ‘As long as we are healthy, we feel younger’

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You feel younger than you are, who does not do that? It is even healthy, but doctors can not do much with it.

Marcel Olde Rikkert himself never says that he feels younger than the 56 years he is according to his passport. ,, I do not find that comparison so interesting, because people with the same age can vary enormously. I prefer to look at which things I succeed and which I have to pay more attention to. ” 

Shaking his head, he heard about positivity guru Emile Ratelband, who wants to lower his calendar age in his passport by twenty years. ,, Of course it is an absurd claim ”, says Olde Rikkert, professor of geriatrics at the Radboudumc in Nijmegen. ,, The passport is meant to establish objective personal data. ”

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