"This research arouses troublesome scientific, legal and ethical issues," said Doug Miller, head of the RU University Media Relations team. In a statement, Miller said that Rice had "no knowledge of this work".
He claims that he used a tool called CRISPR-Cas9, which can insert or disable some genes, to change the DNA of multiple embryos to make them resistant to HIV.
Deem did not respond to CNN's conversations and emails but told The Associated Press that he was in China with the families when they agreed and "absolutely" thought they understood the risks.
Deem also said that he holds "a small share" and is on the scientific advisory council for two of his companies.
Rice University said it did not believe that any of the clinical work was conducted in the United States, but "regardless of where it was carried out, this work described in press reports is contrary to the guidelines for scientific behavior and violates the scientific ethical norms community and rice university."
Matthews wrote in an email that she "was surprised yesterday, like many others, to find out that Professor Deem was involved in this research." When she stated that she had recently started working with Deem, she said that she had not seen anything suggesting that Professor Deem's scientific work was questioned, and she did not believe that any information in co-authored paper was affected.
"If Professor Deem informed me about his work on using human embryo CRISPR to develop a baby, I would have recommended extreme caution using this human embryonic technique and waiting for more data on risks before using manipulated embryos for pregnancies, "writes Matthews.
He, as the university says, was "the son of rice farmers in the Hunan Province in China" was the leading author of Deem on a paper that presented a mathematical model that could determine within two weeks whether a new strain of the influenza virus should be included in the annual seasonal influenza vaccine. The World Health Organization model takes up to six months.
"Jiankui is a very high-quality student," said Deem 2010. "He has done a great job here at Rice, and I'm sure he will be very successful in his career."
CNN's Oscar Holland and Serenitie Wang contributed to this report.[ad_2]