Researcher He Jiankui (R) at the Direct Genomics lab in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China, 2016. Photo: Visual China Group via Getty Images/Visual China Group via Getty Images

A court in China sentenced researcher He Jiankui to three years in prison and fined him 3 million yuan (nearly $430,000) for "illegally carrying out the human embryo gene-editing intended for reproduction," the state-run Xinhua reported Monday.

Why it matters: The Chinese scientist's claim in November last year that the world’s first genetically edited babies had been born from embryos he modified using the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR raised ethical concerns.

  • MIT Technology Review revealed further ethical and practical oversight issues in He's research. He also claimed to be involved in the birth of a third gene-edited baby following the twin girls' birth.

The big picture: The court in south China's Shenzhen city gave two other people, Zhang Renli and Qin Jinzhou, "lesser sentences and fines," AP reports.

  • Zhang was imprisoned for two years and ordered to pay a 1 million yuan fine, and Qin was fined 500,000 yuan and given an 18-month sentence, "but with a two-year reprieve," per AP.

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The Washington Redskins announced Monday that the NFL team plans to change its name.

Why it matters: It brings an end to decades of debate around the name — considered by many to be racist toward Native Americans. The change was jumpstarted by nationwide protests against systemic racism in the U.S. this summer.

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