The platforming of human embryo editing: prospecting “disease free” futures

Ayo Wahlberg, Dong Dong, Priscilla Song, Zhu Jianfeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


In November 2018, a scientific scandal broke when news emerged that the world’s first gene edited babies had been born in China on the eve of the 2nd International Summit on Human Genome Editing in Hong Kong. He Jiankui had recruited a total of seven couples who were in need of fertility treatment to participate in an effort to clinically apply human embryo editing with the promise that, if successful, their future children would be protected from HIV. While He Jiankui has since been jailed for illegal medical practice and much has been written about his unethical and flawed “experiment,” in this article we suggest that the Hong Kong summit nevertheless marked the moment when human embryo editing came to be platformed. Human embryo editing brings together a complete set of new reproductive and genetic technologies into a total bio-reproductive platform shaped by socio-technical “disease free” imaginaries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-383
Number of pages17
JournalNew Genetics and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Genetics
  • Health Policy


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