Ac­tivist sen­tenced for sub­vert­ing state

China Daily (USA) - - CHINA - By SHAN JUAN shan­juan@chi­nadaily. By CAO YIN in Tian­jin caoyin@chi­

The jour­nal Na­ture Biotech­nol­ogy A court saidin Tian­ji­non Tues­day sen­tenced that it ac­tivist­would in­ves­ti­gateZhai Yan­min crit­i­cism­sto three of years what in pris­on­was thought to be a break­through with a four-year re­prieve on gene-edit­ing tech­nique Tues­day for sub­vert­ing state de­vel­oped byChi­nese power. sci­en­tistHan Chunyu. Zhai, an un­em­ployed The jour­nal pub­lished res­i­dent of Bei­jing, used the Han’s re­search find­ings in­ter­net to post state­ments on­line on May 2. But last and com­ments that harmed week, the head of the trans­ge­n­e­sis na­tional se­cu­rity and so­cial lab at Aus­tralian sta­bil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Univer­sity said ver­dict handed down by the lab had been un­able to Tian­jin No 2 In­ter­me­di­ate repli­cateHan’s re­sults. Peo­ple’s Court. Han, 42, a ge­neti­cist at Zhai, 55, pleaded guilty He­beiUniver­sity of Sci­ence dur­ing the open trial. “I and Tech­nol­ogy, rose to ac­cept the ver­dict and will promi­nence with the pub­li­ca­tion not ap­peal,” he said. of his cut­ting-edge

The ver­dict stated that gene edit­ing tech­nique — Zhai be­gan us­ing on­line known as NgAgo — and he postswas per­ceivedin 2012, ma­nip­u­latedas a con­tender pub­lic for opin­iona No­bel and Prize. or­ga­nized The protests jour­nal af­ter said he it joined­had an been un­reg­is­tered­con­tacted by “un­der­ground­sev­eral re­searchers or­ga­ni­za­tion”who said led they by an­oth­er­had not been man, ableHu Shi­ re­pro­duce Zhai also Han’s col­luded pub­lished with lawyers,re­sults. The in­clud­ingjour­nal said Zhouit Shifeng,takes any and con­cern­shired peo­ple raised to play about up any hot pa­per on­line se­ri­ous­lyis­sues or cas­esand con­sid­er­sto dis­turb them pub­lic care­fully, or­der by shoutin­gan­dit is­now­fol­low­ingslo­gans and an es­tab­lished process to in­ves­ti­gate dis­play­ing the signs, is­sues. the ver­dict

stated.Han could not be con­tacted For for ex­am­ple,a re­sponse.a man was He was quoted on Sun­day shot dead af­ter at­tack­ing a in Bei­jing-based Sci­ence

po­lice of­fi­cer at a rail­way sta­tion and Tech­nol­ogy Daily in Qing’an county, Hei­longjiang as say­ing he would re­peat prov­ince, on May the ex­per­i­ment and share

2 last year, trig­ger­ing pub­lic his orig­i­nal data if the jour­nal

at­ten­tion. re­quested it.

Zhai, in­cited by Hu, pub­lished Ac­cord­ing toNa­ture pol­icy, on­line state­ments to au­thors are re­quired to

con­fuse the is­sue. He also make ma­te­ri­als, data, code

ar­ranged for sev­eral peo­ple and as­so­ci­ated pro­to­cols

to go to the rail­way sta­tion promptly avail­able to read­ers

to dis­play ban­ners with antigov­ern­ment with­out un­due qual­i­fi­ca­tions slo­gans and to as a con­di­tion of

dis­trib­ute leaflets out­side the pub­li­ca­tion in one of its

county gov­ern­ment head­quar­ters, jour­nals. the ver­dict said. Be­fore NgAgo, ef­fort and

Pros­e­cu­tors said that Zhai, in­vest­ment were di­rected

to­gether with Hu, Zhou and heav­ily to­ward the widely

Li Heping, con­spired and rec­og­nized genome-edit­ing tech­nique­plot­ted to sub­vert known state as power, CRSPR, and had which “es­tab­lishedal­lows a re­searchers sys­tem­atic to ide­ol­ogy,clip a spe­cific method DNA and se­quences­teps to achie­ve­and re­pla­ceit”. it with Hu, a Zhounew and one, Li of­feringare be­ing the pros­e­cut­ed­po­ten­tial to in cure sep­a­rate dis­eases cases. caused“All Zhai’sby faulty be­hav­ior­genes. con­sti­tuted CRSPR has the been crime triedof sub­ver­sion,”in an­i­mal Cai stud­ies Shuy­ing,and somethe trial hu­man judge, em­bryos.said.

The But NgA­gothe court tech­nique­had given for Zhai edit­ingDNAwasa le­nient pun­ish­men­tini­tially as be­lievedhe had plead­edto sur­pass­guilty and CRISPRhad co­op­er­ate­din pre­ci­sion af­ter and his ef­fi­ciency,ar­rest, the ex­perts judge said. said. © 2016 China Daily All Rights Re­served Vol. 36 — No. 10937

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