CRISPR gene-editing tool. Photo: Gregor Fischer/picture alliance via Getty Images

A Chinese scientist says he has successfully used the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to produce genetically engineered children, according to the Associated Press.

Why it matters: Gene editing has the power to spare a child from painful, fatal diseases. It also has the power to basically become a form of eugenics.

Details:

  • The scientist, He Jiankui, said he has helped create a genetically engineered pair of twins.
  • His use of the CRISPR technology "sought to disable a gene ... that forms a protein doorway that allows HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to enter a cell," the AP reports.
  • The way the work was conducted suggests that the "main emphasis was on testing editing rather than avoiding this disease," Harvard geneticist George Church told the AP.
  • He, the scientist, was educated in the U.S. but was recruited back to China. An American scientist, Michael Deem, also worked on the project in China. This type of gene editing is illegal in the U.S.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 12,128,406 — Total deaths: 551,552 — Total recoveries — 6,650,675Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:30 p.m. ET: 3,088,913 — Total deaths: 132,934 — Total recoveries: 953,420 — Total tested: 36,979,745Map.
  3. Public health: More young people are spreading the virus Cases rise in 33 statesFlorida reports highest single-day death toll since pandemic began.
  4. Science: World Health Organization acknowledges airborne transmission of coronavirus.
  5. 1 🐂 thing: How the world could monitor for potential pandemic animal viruses.
2 hours ago - Science

More young people are getting — and spreading — the coronavirus

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

More young people are being infected with the coronavirus, and even though they're less likely to die from it, experts warn the virus' spread among young adults may further fuel outbreaks across the United States.

Why it matters: Some people in their 20s and 30s face serious health complications from COVID-19, and a surge in cases among young people gives the virus a bigger foothold, increasing the risk of infection for more vulnerable people.

Joint Chiefs chairman condemns Confederate symbols

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley criticized Confederate symbols before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, and called the Civil War an "act of treason."

Why it matters: Milley said that minority service members — which he said make up 43% of the U.S. military — may feel uncomfortable that Army bases are named for Confederate generals who "fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors."