Scientist He Jiankui’s claimed use of the genetic tool CRISPR to edit the genomes of twin girls led to international condemnation. His actions have focused a spotlight on research ethics – and what the consequences should be when scientists “go rogue”.
The Chinese Academy of Science initially looked into He’s conduct, and a subsequent internal government investigation has allegedly identified multiple violations of state laws. He has now been fired by his university.
Read more: Tension as scientist at centre of CRISPR outrage speaks at genome editing summit
But beyond just this example, what does happen when scientists fail to comply with globally-accepted guidelines for ethical medical research? We examined this issue focusing on published research involving recipients of organ transplants performed in the People’s Republic of China.\