“A lot of people wish that those who knew or suspected would have made more noise,” said R. Alta Charo, a bioethicist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who co-led a 2017 national committee on human embryo editing.
But she said scientists were not necessarily complicit if instead of trying to stop rogue experimenters, they advised them to follow ethical and research standards in hopes that institutions would intervene.
Rice University has been investigating Michael Deem, Dr. He’s Ph.D. adviser, because of allegations that he was actively involved in the project; he had said publicly that he had been present during parts of it. Dr. Deem’s lawyers issued a statement strongly denying the allegations.
Dr. He emailed Dr. Quake months before the gene-edited babies were born.