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Scientist claiming gene-edited babies reports 2nd pregnancy

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HONG KONG (AP) — A Chinese researcher who claims to have helped make the world’s first genetically edited babies says a second pregnancy may be underway.

The researcher, He Jiankui of Shenzhen, revealed the possible pregnancy Wednesday while making his first public comments about his controversial work at an international conference in Hong Kong.

He claims to have altered the DNA of twin girls born earlier this month to try to make them resistant to infection with the AIDS virus. Mainstream scientists have condemned the experiment, and universities and government groups are investigating.

The second potential pregnancy is in a very early stage and needs more time to be monitored to see if it will last, He said.

Leading scientists said there are now even more reasons to worry, and more questions than answers, after He’s talk. The leader of the conference called the experiment “irresponsible” and evidence that the scientific community had failed to regulate itself to prevent premature efforts to alter DNA.

Altering DNA before or at the time of conception is highly controversial because the changes can be inherited and might harm other genes. It’s banned in some countries including the United States except for lab research.

He defended his choice of HIV, rather than a fatal inherited disease, as a test case for gene editing, and insisted the girls could benefit from it.

“They need this protection since a vaccine is not available,” He said.

Scientists weren’t buying it.

“This is a truly unacceptable development,” said Jennifer Doudna, a University of California-Berkeley scientist and one of the inventors of the CRISPR gene-editing tool that He said he used. “I’m grateful that he appeared today, but I don’t think that we heard answers. We still need to understand the motivation for this.”

Doudna is paid by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, which also supports AP’s Health & Science Department.

“I feel more disturbed now,” said David Liu of Harvard and MIT’s Broad Institute, and inventor of a variation of the gene-editing tool. “It’s an appalling example of what not to do about a promising technology that has great potential to benefit society. I hope it never happens again.”

There is no independent confirmation of He’s claim and he has not yet published in any scientific journal where it would be vetted by experts. At the conference, He failed or refused to answer many questions including who paid for his work, how he ensured that participants understood potential risks and benefits, and why he kept his work secret until after it was done.

After He spoke, David Baltimore, a Nobel laureate from the California Institute of Technology and a leader of the conference, said He’s work “would still be considered irresponsible” because it did not meet criteria many scientists agreed on several years ago before gene editing could be considered.

“I personally don’t think that it was medically necessary. The choice of the diseases that we heard discussions about earlier today are much more pressing” than trying to prevent HIV infection this way, Baltimore said.

The case shows “there has been a failure of self-regulation by the scientific community” and said the conference committee would meet and issue a statement on Thursday about the future of the field, Baltimore said.

Before He’s talk, Dr. George Daley, Harvard Medical School’s dean and one of the conference organizers, warned against a backlash to gene editing because of He’s experiment. Just because the first case may have been a misstep “should in no way, I think, lead us to stick our heads in the sand and not consider the very, very positive aspects that could come forth by a more responsible pathway,” Daley said.

“Scientists who go rogue … it carries a deep, deep cost to the scientific community,” Daley said.

Regulators have been swift to condemn the experiment as unethical and unscientific.

The National Health Commission has ordered local officials in Guangdong province to investigate He’s actions, and his employer, Southern University of Science and Technology of China, is investigating as well.

On Tuesday, Qui Renzong of the Chinese Academy of Social Science criticized the decision to let He speak at the conference, saying the claim “should not be on our agenda” until it has been reviewed by independent experts. Whether He violated reproductive medicine laws in China has been unclear; Qui contends that it did, but said, “the problem is, there’s no penalty.”

He called on the United Nations to convene a meeting to discuss heritable gene editing to promote international agreement on when it might be OK.

Meanwhile, more American scientists said they had contact with He and were aware of or suspected what he was doing.

Dr. Matthew Porteus, a genetics researcher at Stanford University, where He did postdoctoral research, said He told him in February that he intended to try human gene editing. Porteus said he discouraged He and told him “that it was irresponsible, that he could risk the entire field of gene editing by doing this in a cavalier fashion.”

Dr. William Hurlbut, a Stanford ethicist, said he has “spent many hours” talking with He over the last two years about situations where gene editing might be appropriate.

“I knew his early work. I knew where he was heading,” Hurlbut said. When he saw He four or five weeks ago, He did not say he had tried or achieved pregnancy with edited embryos but “I strongly suspected” it, Hurlbut said.

“I disagree with the notion of stepping out of the general consensus of the scientific community,” Hurlbut said. If the science is not considered ready or safe enough, “it’s going to create misunderstanding, discordance and distrust.”

___

Marilynn Marchione can be followed.

The Associated Press Health & Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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Conspiracy Theory

Did the ‘party of science’ prank themselves with the greatest practical joke ever, the ‘Green New Deal’?

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Did the ‘party of science’ prank themselves with the greatest practical joke ever the ‘Green New Deal’

There is one big problem with trying to ‘net-zero’ greenhouse gases, it can never happen.

Sometimes it is hard to shake the thought that a higher power played a practical joke on the Authoritarian Socialist-Left with history’s greatest prank. Those familiar with the subject know that the highest manifestation of this ‘art form’ is when the target plays it on themselves and from a source that no one expects. The coincidences leave one gobsmacked as to how it all could be mere happenstance.

The Left’s inherent arrogance has led them to believe they can never be wrong. Even if the result is that they ‘rule the population’ in the end. The problem for them is that they can’t exactly cast themselves as the ‘the party of science’ when they forget about the most abundant greenhouse gas.

Full disclosure, we had been very reluctant to critique the purveyor of this plan knowing that her ‘proclivities’ would be her downfall, knowing it would pay a handsome dividend. We knew that everyone’s favourite socialist would eventually go off the deep end, bringing the rest of the Socialist-Left along with her. Little did we know that it would happen so quickly.

Losing the plot on promises.

While the abject fraud of socialism will have it’s disciples make all manner of promises that will never come to fruition. At least some have a little bit of grounding in reality, neglecting the fact that they will quickly run out of other people’s money. However, in the ‘Green New Deal’ we substantially have an historic first, a completely impossible goal. Consider this passage in their napkin pencil sketch of the outline of a plan to rebuild our entire economy from the ground up:

Resolved, That it is the sense of the House of Representatives that—

(1) it is the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal—

(A) to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all communities and workers;

[Our Emphasis]

Trying to get to ‘net-zero’ is a fool’s errand because it’s impossible to get to that point with the most important greenhouse gas: Water Vapour.

Never mind that other parts of the scheme are beyond feasibility. Or that the rest of the world will just take up the slack after we self-immolate [After buying the appropriate carbon credits of course]. No, they ignored the most important greenhouse gas and thus rendered their entire plan scientifically absurd.

The problem for them and the indication that this was the greatest prank of all time is that water vapour is the most abundant greenhouse gas. Now perhaps they overlooked this scientific fact because the powers that be in the Global Cooling, Global warming, Climate Change, Global Cooling cabal also tend to ignore this ‘inconvenient truth’ to coin a phrase.

Just in case there are any Leftists reading this, we will spell it out for those of the ‘Party of science’: We can never net-zero water vapour since that would entail getting rid of all the water on the planet. Perhaps they don’t realise that Approximately 71 percent of the Earth’s surface is covered by this ubiquitous substance, sometimes referred to as dihydrogen monoxide.

But its impossible elimination would certainly help in providing high-speed rail service to Hawaii.

We can add to this by pointing out that the climate boffins prefer to use terms such as ‘scientific uncertainty’ when referring to poorly understood effects of the ‘positive feedback loop’ of Water vapour. From the National Climatic Data Center on Greenhouse Gases:

As the temperature of the atmosphere rises, more water is evaporated from ground storage (rivers, oceans, reservoirs, soil). Because the air is warmer, the absolute humidity can be higher (in essence, the air is able to ‘hold’ more water when it’s warmer), leading to more water vapor in the atmosphere. As a greenhouse gas, the higher concentration of water vapor is then able to absorb more thermal IR energy radiated from the Earth, thus further warming the atmosphere. The warmer atmosphere can then hold more water vapor and so on and so on. This is referred to as a ‘positive feedback loop’. However, huge scientific uncertainty exists in defining the extent and importance of this feedback loop.

As water vapor increases in the atmosphere, more of it will eventually also condense into clouds, which are more able to reflect incoming solar radiation (thus allowing less energy to reach the Earth’s surface and heat it up). The future monitoring of atmospheric processes involving water vapor will be critical to fully understand the feedbacks in the climate system leading to global climate change. As yet, though the basics of the hydrological cycle are fairly well understood, we have very little comprehension of the complexity of the feedback loops.

[Our Emphasis]

In other words, they don’t want to admit how water vapour can act as a means for the planet to keep Global Cooling, Global warming, Climate Change, Global Cooling in check. They don’t know for certain about this crucial aspect of the issue. But those of the climate cult do know that if we don’t hand over control of our entire lives to them, entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by the year 2000, as in this report from the Associated Press:

U.N. Predicts Disaster if Global Warming Not Checked June 30, 1989

UNITED NATIONS (AP) _ A senior U.N. environmental official says entire nations could be wiped off the face of the Earth by rising sea levels if the global warming trend is not reversed by the year 2000.

Coastal flooding and crop failures would create an exodus of ″eco- refugees,′ ′ threatening political chaos, said Noel Brown, director of the New York office of the U.N. Environment Program, or UNEP.

He said governments have a 10-year window of opportunity to solve the greenhouse effect before it goes beyond human control. We all might have been too busy dealing with Y2K and the millennium, but entire nations being swept off the face of the earth most assuredly wouldn’t of escaped notice of everyone.

Of course the alarmism never stops with criticism of predictions of world-wide disasters being ‘too rosy’ as in this report from the New York times Nov. 18, 2007: Alarming UN report on climate change too rosy, many say:

VALENCIA, Spain — The blunt and alarming final report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released here by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, may well underplay the problem of climate change, many experts and even the report’s authors admit.

The IPCC chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, an engineer and economist from India, acknowledged the new trajectory. “If there’s no action before 2012, that’s too late,” Pachauri said. “What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment.”

Okay, they were over blown about having to do something that ‘in the next two to three years’, but it’s a certainty that in 2009 Barack Obama had only had four years to save the world from The Guardian:

President ‘has four years to save Earth’
Sun 18 Jan 2009 00.01 GMT

Barack Obama has only four years to save the world. That is the stark assessment of Nasa scientist and leading climate expert Jim Hansen who last week warned only urgent action by the new president could halt the devastating climate change that now threatens Earth. Crucially, that action will have to be taken within Obama’s first administration.

Lest anyone think that since the world ended a few years ago that it would have stopped the predictions of doom, other lists have been since published here and here.

The problem for the Global Cooling cult is that they keep on predicting disaster in a few years and they keep on coming up short. But, we’re not supposed to notice the decades of alarmism, we’re not supposed to rhetorical sleight of hand of the change from Global Cooling in the 1970’s to Global warming when that didn’t happen to Climate Change when that also didn’t happen as well. We’re not supposed to notice the extraordinary claims that demand extraordinary evidence. Most certainly we’re not supposed to notice that these claims that demand immediate action requires that we all give up our Liberty to the very people making the demands.

The takeaway.

Perhaps this epic practical joke on the Socialist-Left will serve as a prime indicator to the rational majority to reject the Green New Deal and the rest of their ancient collectivist ideas. That finally enough people will recognise their socialist snake oil for what it truly is, a fraud of the highest order. It certainly has wrought enough destruction, leaving behind a body count in the millions to make that case.

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Conspiracy Theory

Is ‘techno-populism’ heading to America soon?

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Is techno-populism heading to America soon

Most Americans have heard of “populism” even if many aren’t quite sure what it really means. Now, there’s a new trend that may be creeping into America. “Techno-populism” is growing more popular in other countries such as Italy and may be on the verge of becoming a big thing here in the United States.

The idea of techno-populism is that our leaders tend to be those who align with technocrats. Some even believe technocrats themselves, such as Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, and pretty much everyone in the upper management echelons at Google, will actually be the leaders in America.

Gonz at Face Like the Sun YouTube channel put out an interesting video about how President Trump just signed a push for improving our artificial intelligence technology. Pay close attention. This may end up becoming something worth noting.

 


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Economy

Charlie Kirk: We love the environment which is why we need market solutions

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Charlie Kirk We love the environment which is why we need market solutions

Charlie Kirk from Turning Point USA and Nathan Rubin from Millennial Politics took to Fox & Friends this morning to have a short debate over the Green New Deal. While we should give Rubin kudos for his willingness to address the insane piece of legislation, it didn’t play out as well as he would have liked.

The problem isn’t that he’s bad at making points or that Kirk is a prime-time debater. The problem is it’s almost impossible to intellectually defend the Green New Deal. It only works on an emotional level, as our EIC noted on Twitter:

Whether one believes in man-made climate change or not, we should all be able to agree we should be good stewards of the world around us. The best way to do this is not through mandates or gigantic pieces of legislation. It’s through the free market that works with an educated populace…

…and therein lies the problem. We do not have an educated populace. We have a populace that feels like it’s educated, but it’s through our higher education system that some of the worst ideas invariably come. The Green New Deal is a product of the indoctrination being pushed through society via education, mainstream media, and other forms of leftist propaganda at nearly every level of society. The concepts that work, namely freedom and capitalism, are the very concepts we should be working through to improve the world… and that includes the environment itself.

This excellent take by Kirk is one of the shining examples of how Americans should be thinking when addressing problems like climate change. Instead, we’re stuck battling against leftist principles of big government being the solution to everything.

 


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