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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

Journalism enters dangerous new era

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The Capitol attack on Jan. 6 resulted in at least nine physical assaults against journalists and at least five arrests, per the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker's top editor.

Why it matters: President Trump's harsh rhetoric towards the press has empowered leaders abroad and locally in the U.S. to continue to attack press that they don't like.

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Joe Biden's inauguration and the days right after will bring a rat-tat-tat burst of climate policy moves, but keep this in mind amid the splashy pledges: pushing through most of his agenda will be a long, uncertain slog.

Why it matters: Biden's climate plan is far more expansive than anything contemplated under President Obama. But for all the immediate pledges, it will take years to see how far Biden gets.

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President-elect Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion stimulus proposal has economists and bullish market analysts revising their U.S. growth expectations higher, predicting a reflation of the economy in 2021 and possibly more booming returns for risk assets.

Yes, but: Others are warning that what's expected to be reflation could actually show up as inflation, a much less welcome phenomenon.