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Thread: The NY Times Details Stanford Scientist's Communications in the Gene-Edited Babies

  1. #1

    Default The NY Times Details Stanford Scientist's Communications in the Gene-Edited Babies

    California Stem Cell Report
    APRIL 14, 2019

    The NY Times Details Stanford Scientist's Communications in the Gene-Edited Babies Controversy

    The New York Times this morning carried a front page story dealing with Stanford University, scientist Stephen Quake and gene-edited babies in China.

    The story appears to the first time that Quake, who is the Lee Otterson professor of bioengineering and professor of applied physics at Stanford as well as co-president of the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, has spoken at length publicly about his role in the matter of the Chinese children, who are the first gene-edited babies to be born.

    Their announcement last fall created an international brouhaha about the ethics and science of the work by He Jiankui, who once worked in Quake's Stanford lab.

    Times reporter Pam Belluck began her story like this
    "'Success!' read the subject line of the email. The text, in imperfect English, began: “Good News! The women is pregnant, the genome editing success!'
    "The sender was He Jiankui, an ambitious, young Chinese scientist. The recipient was his former academic adviser, Stephen Quake, a star Stanford bioengineer and inventor.
    "'Wow, that’s quite an achievement!' Dr. Quake wrote back. 'Hopefully she will carry to term...'"
    Stanford is investigating Quake's ties and communication with He. The Times reported that the school has received a complaint from the president of He's Chinese university, alleging that Quake “violated the internationally recognized academic ethics and codes of conduct, and must be condemned.”

    In the Times article, Quake, who is participating in a $40 million genomics program backed by the $3 billion California stem cell agency, denied the allegations. Quake said his interactions with He have been misinterpreted.

    The Times wrote,
    "'I had nothing to do with this, and I wasn’t involved,' Dr. Quake said. 'I hold myself to high ethical standards.'
    "Dr. Quake showed The Times what he said were the last few years of his email communication with Dr. He. The correspondence provides a revealing window into the informal way researchers navigate a fast-moving, ethically controversial field."

    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


  2. #2

    Default Stanford Exonerates Researchers Who Had Ties to Scientist in Gene-edited Babies.....

    California Stem Cell Report
    APRIL 16, 2019
    Stanford Exonerates Researchers Who Had Ties to Scientist in Gene-edited Babies Experiment

    Stanford University this afternoon cleared three professors of any wrongdoing in connection with their ties to a Chinese scientist who said his research had led to the world's first gene-edited babies.

    Pam Belluck of the New York Times broke the story after obtaining a letter that cleared scientist Stephen Quake in connection with the research, which stirred a global controversy.

    Belluck wrote,
    “'In evaluating evidence and witness statements, we found that Quake observed proper scientific protocol,' said a letter from the university to Dr. Quake, obtained by The New York Times on Tuesday.
    "Referring to the Chinese scientist, He Jiankui, by his nickname, JK, the letter said that Stanford’s investigators concluded that Dr. Quake did not 'directly participate in any way in JK’s research, including in the conception or performance of the work.'
    "In fact, the letter said, Dr. Quake discouraged Dr. He from pursuing the project and urged him to follow proper scientific practices after he insisted on going ahead."
    The Times ran a front page story on Sunday focusing on Quake's email communications with He. Belluck wrote today,
    "On Tuesday, Dr. Quake, who turned 50 this week, said: 'I’m pleased this inquiry is over and its conclusion is consistent with what I knew to be true: that I had urged Dr. He not to pursue this path and when it became clear he wouldn’t listen to me, to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards in his research.'"
    Quake is involved in a $40 million program financed by the $3 billion California stem cell agency.

    The other two researchers are Matthew Porteus, a genetics researcher, and William Hurlbut, an ethicist.

    As of this afternoon, the Times story on Sunday had generated 329 comments in the Times from readers, covering the full gamut of reaction.

    One reader, only identified as JHP, had only this to say,
    "For such an intelligent and accomplished person, Dr. Quake comes across as breathtakingly obtuse."
    The Times said 134 readers "recommended" the remark.

    Another reader, Robert Speth of Fort Lauderdale, said,
    "Dr. Quake’s actions appear to be that of a dedicated mentor who encourages their students to be successful, but to do so while conducting themselves in an ethical manner. While the investigation by Stanford is warranted, from the information presented in this article, I cannot see even a hint of misconduct by Dr. Quake."
    The Times said 175 readers "recommended" the remark.

    The Times also makes its own judgment about comments and labels some as a "Times Pick," It also has a category called "Reader Picks" in addition to "All." The Times moderates its comments for civility.

    The reader comments can be found by going to the story and clicking on a small box to the right of the reporter's byline.

    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


  3. #3


    U.S. universities have become more and more dependent on Chinese money, and they put themselves in deep conflict of interest. They kowtow to a communist regime, because Chinese government constantly threatens U.S. universities to behave or else get punished by boycotting them. This behavior has jeopardized academic freedom. They even go as far as sharing intellectual properties in order to please the Chinese government. I guess it is like everything else when it comes to 12 billion dollars in tuition anually from the Chinese government, money buys the souls of academic professors. We are no stranger to that when the progress of stem cell industry is thwarted by greed and making sure they keep control of the research money. Not surprised that U.S. professors would partake on Nazi type experiments on humans in order to please the communist regime in China, so they can preserve their money. I am not even mentioning that a large percentage of college professors are Marxist, so who knows, money may not be the only motive.
    Last edited by LLL6521; 04-17-2019 at 02:40 PM.

  4. #4


    Well put LLL6521. I don't see much happening either to curtail what is going on. This is a very dangerous thing in my mind to let China steal our innovation and expertise and with the blessing of universities!
    First treatment in 2007. Pioneering ever since.


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