1966年: “文化大革命”十年内乱开始

A very unusual byline on Xinhua News (hope it is real!) even it’s anonymous, commenting on the Cultural Revolution, which Google translates: Practice has proved that the “Cultural Revolution” is not and cannot be revolutionary or social progress in any sense.


新中国峥嵘岁月|1966年:“文化大革命”十年内乱开始
新华社 2019-09-27 18:01:25
新华社北京9月27日电题:1966年:“文化大革命”十年内乱开始

1966年,正当我国基本完成调整经济的任务,开始执行发展国民经济第三个五年计划的时候,“文化大革命”发生了。

“文化大革命”是由毛泽东同志发动和领导的。他发动这场“大革命”的出发点是防止资本主义复辟、维护党的纯洁性和寻求中国自己的建设社会主义的道路。但他当时对党和国家的政治状况的错误估计,已经发展到非常严重的程度。

“文化大革命”历经从发动到1969年4月中共九大、从九大到1973年8月中共十大、从十大到1976年10月结束这样三个阶段。中共九大加强了林彪、江青、康生等人在中央的地位,使“文化大革命”的错误理论和实践合法化。1971年9月林彪事件的发生,客观上宣告了“文化大革命”理论和实践的失败,但中共十大仍然继续九大的“左”倾错误,并且使江青反革命集团的势力进一步得到加强。1976年9月毛泽东逝世后,江青、张春桥、姚文元、王洪文加紧夺取党和国家最高领导权的阴谋活动。同年10月,中共中央政治局执行党和人民的意志,一举粉碎“四人帮”,从而终止了“文化大革命”这场灾难。

实践证明,“文化大革命”不是也不可能是任何意义上的革命或社会进步

在“文化大革命”时期,党和人民同“左”倾错误和林彪、江青反革命集团的斗争虽然艰难曲折,但一直都没有停止过。在这十年中,我国国民经济仍然取得了进展,对外工作也打开了新的局面。但是,如果没有“文化大革命”,我国的社会主义事业会取得大得多的成就。(完)

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Listen, Amex

Amex sent me this love note, asking if I didn’t verify my User ID or reset the password, then I call them immediately at 1-800-297-1234.

I didn’t change so I called.

The automated female voice is lovely but it did nothing to address my need: there isn’t an option for me to choose from and when I said fraud, repeatedly, she answers, I don’t understand. When I said, “representative,” she’ll say I need more information from you

After 10 minutes, a rep finally took the call.

Please, give me, the average consumers, a good reason to help you. Like, clickable Yes and No imbedded in the email so we could easily letting you know? Time is money right? And provides us with a more appropriate and responsive phone system … 1-800-297-1234 is clearly not for this kind of call.

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Truth, nothing but truth

A book review (Apple News) on Malcolm Gladwell’s Talking to Strangers (coming out on Sept. 10). Gladwell explains why we don’t spot lies well, is because we’ve a default to truth. Our operating assumption is that the opal we are dealing with are honest.

I thought about many people would not contradict themselves too, keeping on to believe a lie, and FOMO, fear of missing out.

Recently I’ve just listened to the six-episode podcast The Drop Out, on the famous Stanford drop out Elizabeth Holmes and her company Theranos. I remembered reading about her and event blog here in 2014, was impressed with her board, which was staffed with who’s who, from Henry Kissinger and on down. How did a girl get iii contact with these powerful men?

“George Shultz,” Holmes said. An alumni of the Secretary of State of the United States.

George (1920-) has a grandson, Tyler who met Elizabeth at his grandfather’s home, which is on Stanford campus. He was so taken with her, he worked for her. However,  when he found the things were fishy he resigned and became the whistleblower. This process was long, painful and costly, with his future and reputation at stake. His grandfather, defended Elizabeth. His parents spent $500,000 on legal bills.

The point I’m making is, people (as smart as capable as George Shultz), often times, don’t like to be proven wrong. And they often rely on the assumption that someone they trust, trusted a company or a person, therefore, they, by default, put their trust in this company or this person.

By the way, Holmes is posed till the end, even in denying “I don’t know…” or “I’m not sure … ” more than 600 times …

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Wallace n Clinton and 9/11

pub in 2004, won 2005 Pulitzer Prize

Ghost Wars was published by Steve Coll in 2004, and won 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction. It would be an older book, kind of, in 2019. But nevertheless, I’m  glad that I began to read.

9/11 was a wake up call.

On page 245, Coll  wrote, (James, Jr.) Woosley who the CIA director but had never met with the ex-president who appointed him. Because Clinton and his team was so keen on the domestic politics (Yeltsin was a friend of U.S. and not too touch on China …). This, brought me the memory of that 2006 interview on Fox News by Chris Wallace, that had everyone talking, including President Bush (at the time) and Mrs. Clinton. ( NYTimes; Rose; The Path to 9/11.)

Chris Wallace

The Host Wallace asked Clinton if he had done enough during his presidency on terrorism, to everyone’s surprise (including Wallace), Mr. Clinton jumped out of his seat (almost) and pointed his finger forcefully to say otherwise, looking like someone being hit on the spot, wounded and is fighting back.

At time of watching it, I thought, oh, Wallace must have hit a home run, to elicit such reaction from his interviewee. Later, Mrs. Clinton defended her husband… and was nominated to run for President of the US by the Democratic Party in 2016 … which brings me to think of, Jenny Sanford (who was clearly more dignified) and Silda Wall Spitzer. Being one of the 99%er, I couldn’t fathom the saying that marriage should be operated, and disagree that a person should be elected only base on the gender. We should elect a qualified person. Navies, maybe but don’t we live by our own principal?

文盲说书: 婚姻不该经营

幽灵战争由史蒂夫科尔于2004年出版,并获得2005年普利非小说普利策奖。这将是一本较旧的书在2019年。不过,我还是很高兴现在才开始看。

9/11是一个警钟。

在书的第245页,科尔写道,沃斯利是中央情报局局长,但从未见过任命他的前总统, 因为克林顿和他的团队如此热衷于国内政治(叶利钦是美国的朋友而且对中国不太感兴趣…).这让我想起了2006年福克斯新闻的克里斯华莱士采访克林顿的回忆 – 一个让所有人都在谈论,包括布什总统(当时)和克林顿夫人。
主持人华莱士问克林顿,在他期间 是不是对恐怖主义防范做得不够。 让所有人都感到惊讶(包括华莱士),克林顿(差不多)跳出座位,用手指大力指责说不是 – 那画面至今难忘。要是没有被击中要害 有何必这么激动?克林顿夫人也出来为她的丈夫辩护… 后来,她成为2016年民主党的总统竞选候选人. 这让我想起了珍妮桑福德(Jenny Sanford 显然更有尊严)和Silda Wall Spitzer。 作为99%群人之一,我无法理解婚姻应该被经营的说法。做人需要有尊严。

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A concubine

Oh boy…

It looks so odd, especially in today’s climate. I’m not going to comment on Thailand and its king but on the Times of London.

In 1979 when I first arrived in HK, learning English was one of my priorities. And I remembered clearly how haughty the male teacher said that he “only read South China Morning Post.”

Back to my point. After that male teacher’s declaration, soon I found New York Times and Times of London are two leading newspapers in the world (side leaning isn’t the point of discussion here). SCMP is a good paper but I suppose, how small Hong Kong is, how big is the scmp.

Now, upon reading the title, I wondered, is Times in the race with the gossip dailies for the eyeballs? Shame and sad.

女人,您能…不这样吗?

初去香港学英文… 记得清清楚楚那个男老师骄傲的说 “我只看南华早报” 虽然他那港音英文挺难听的 (香港有多小南华早报就有多大)

后来知道纽约时报 伦敦时报是报业的佼佼者 (偏左或右不在这个讨论之中)

… 这是伦敦时报的报道.
泰国国王是啥东东?值得报道吗?
和街边小报强眼球?

OMG

嗯 俺舔了国王的…

笑一笑 世界好美妙

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The presidential scholars

Since 1964 (ed.gov), each year the brightest high schoolers in the nation get to visit White House and the president, to honor their achievements. Among 161 kids in 2019, I counted 50 Asian-ish last names (36 Chinese). I think it’s a lot given our small percentage as whole in the U.S. (Forbes; FB and more fm ed.gov).

A Chinese friend shared this photo (I didn’t verify), with the caption: … 71 years old president stands while the 18 years olds are seated. If you don’t know China, you won’t see the reason. I thought of Karamay fire in 1994 that killed 325, of which 288 were kids: when the fire broke out, students n teachers were told to sit still, so the CPC officials could escape first, which is widely known in Chinese as 认领导先走. I thought of World Cup 2018, when Putin was the only one had an umbrella, while Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović n Macron were drenched… and Putin complained in 2008 that people (the developed countries) think they just climbed down from tress, and still have the dirt. To that, I’ll say, you know what Putin, you’re still on the tree.

 

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Misfits Market

This is my first order – small ($19.99 + $4.50 shipping), and find their quality is so so.

 

They voluntarily sent a replacement yesterday (Aug 6 – left ): when I canceled my subscription, they asked why …

I’ll give it another try – the customer service is pretty good, and the quality is better this time.

The fact I took it in quickly and the weather was cooler may play the role in the better shape of the produce.

I was home when it was delivered, and saw two guys working the truck.

The internet, changes almost everything.

Today UPS announced that it will divorce Amazon. From the time the little start up began in late 1990s, the delivery is central to its survival. What had happened and why they break up now, maybe some very interesting stories took place.

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DR orchid, II

My second orchid from Duran Reade @ Penn Station. Here is my first, the lime green.

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The size of Timberland boots

 

The sizes … why is the 6.5 smaller than 6.0 – the bottom one is 6.0.

I uploaded the photos for them to view – they CAN’t. I posted these photos on my blog and give them url – they still CAN’T view. I’m wondering, what kind of service they actually have?? For my problem, I’ve to repeat several times … WHY is the size 6 larger than six 6.5 for the identical boots Carnaby? Here is the blog that contains the photos – can you view it now? http://www.ireneeng.com/?

..

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Timberland or Wolverine?

I’ve been a happy Timberland camper but this last order made me bewildered.

First, are the insoles: are they being chopped off?

Upon checking with them, I’m told it’s the design.

Hmmmm… I think I much prefer the full length rather than just the heels (and arches). Sole cushioning is as important. Do you prefer to have full length? Or half as in this photo?


I truth them very much, so didn’t check anything when I checked out.

Now looking at the invoice did I see the shipping charge of $14. I was under the impression that the shipping is free. 

So upon checking (again … ) I was told the $14 is the discount.

They do have an odd way to label their services and merchandises. 


Third, the delivery date. 

I ordered one item today and picked the 3-4 business day delivery. Today is Monday, July 8, the item should be here by Friday the lattes, which would be July 12. But on their site, it says the estimate date is July 15. I give up on trying to count. Chinese isn’t known for good math skill, I think -:)

So … I’m wondering, if it’s time to try Wolverine boots? 

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The 2020 census

Don’t know what the fuss is all about: I’ve received my questionair a long time ago. Then began to hear in the news that the government is fighting if to add certain questions into the census.

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Purple flower

They’re cut flowers from supermarket … very lovely. The dried ones are from July 24.

 

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The Lives of Others

A wonderful film.

This German movie was made in 2006, by Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck. It had won Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film in the same year. $2 mil budget and grossed $77 mil. Well done.

In the beginning, the Stasi – secret police – officer Captain Gerd Wiesler is rather hateful … but as the story unfold you’ll be surprised. I though the ending is very moving.  … They had prostitutes in East Germany? Could a brain-washed adult change to the better – normal and sensible? I truly wish …

Also, there are two quotes I find interesting:

  1. Stalin’s Engineers of the human soul (Инженеры человеческих душ; 人类灵魂的工程师) … which has a wiki page devoted to it.
  2. Lenin’s If I keep listening to it, I won’t finish the revolution. It referred to Beethoven’s Appassionata/passionate (by Daniel Barenboim here).

德语 2006 电影 Das Leben der Anderen 他人的生活 很好看. 赢了2006 奥斯卡最佳外语片. 一开始是些熟悉的画面: 一个斯塔西警察逼供 … 马不停蹄的逼供 – 另人生厌 … 但是接下来他在执行任务 – 偷听监视 – 期间 发生了变化 … 结尾非常感人.

东德有妓女?

另外, 洗脑后的人可以变得正常 (好/有人性) 吗?真希望 …

另外2: 用了二个摘引 – 斯大林的是人类灵魂的工程师 和列宁的 如果继续听贝多芬的钢琴奏鸣曲第23号 我不会完成革命了.  

有些好奇 … 结果发现 二个都有争议喔.

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$11M to say they’re not racists

A black student at Oberlin College in Ohio stole from Gibson’s Bakery and got caught, in 2016. The son of the white owner chased the student out of the store but two other black students ganged up on him …

It looked like a simple shoplift event turned into a racism, encouraged by Dean Meredith Raimondo who joined the students in protesting, claiming the bakery had a history of racism.

All the Gibsons ever wanted was for the truth to come out!”

When Oberlin refused to apologize the father and son took them to court in 2017.

Interesting. I know Oberlin from my genealogy research. … Now the jury awarded the Gibons $11 million. What’s more interest, the vice president Donica Thomas Varner said the school stands by Dean Meredith Raimondo …

白人店主抓黑人小偷, 被骂歧视并遭疯狂抵制! 法官终于判了

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Chinese soldiers are spotted loading their ships with BABY FORMULA

Daily Mail reports on 2019.6.07:

“So THAT’S why they were here! Chinese soldiers are spotted loading their ships with a truckload of highly sought-after BABY FORMULA during their five-day visit to Sydney
代购 … 这就是他们为什么在这里! 在为期五天的悉尼之行中,中国士兵被发现他们的船装满了一大堆备受追捧的婴儿奶粉

Three Chinese warships, packed with 700 sailors, made an unannounced visit to Sydney Harbour on Monday morning.

..

Australian baby formula has been a highly sought-after product in China over the last few years following a milk scandal there in 2008.”

人民子弟兵爱人民  解放军叔叔爱人民

  • 国内发展的太好了 … 军舰代购 威风凛凛
  • 搞副业
  • 小代购过海关还是个问题,大军舰谁敢查呀
  • unannounced visit … 能说是为奶粉偷袭雪梨港?
  • 厕所文学… 在晚饭 讲了这个 … 结果这帮🇺🇸人问:are mercenary 雇佣军?我曰“不是” … 想想 其实我也不知道. 而且我也不知道这家报纸/网站的可靠性 … 倒是觉得船很小 … 我感觉是船长决定去雪梨 … 然后他/她的船员抢购奶粉… 🇺🇸说 不可能。没有政府sanctions 命令 炮舰不可能进港 …
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Frexit

This term begun perhaps two years ago following the Brexit.

Here is what I’m thinking: if France is out then the EU is practically over for Germany.

Has Germany over extended themselves? Being a big brother needs a lot of dough and cloud.

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Cell phones

Over the years crackherry or blackberry and the new kid iPhone. Can’t find my Nokia unfortunately.

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He … 此贺非比鹤

2019.5.10 WSJ: How a Chinese Scientist Broke the Rules to Create the First Gene-Edited Babies on Dr. He Jiankui 贺建奎 (1984). The view is pretty balanced. It even questioned if Dr. He has legal assistance, and ends with “The narrative of a rogue scientist excuses the rest of science from having played a role. That’s just not true,”.

When the news first broke out last year, I thought of 1997 American science fiction film Gattaca, with Ethan Hawke and Uma Thurman, etc.

The WSJ article mentioned Xi stressed 鹤的哥们儿习大大说过 innovate, innovate, innovate! 创新, 创新, 再创新! Did this influenced Dr. He in anyway?

贺建奎生了第一个基因编辑婴儿. 结果世界沸腾了. 其实如果世界舆论没有哗然, 国内很多机构/人物都会和贺一起分享硕果滴. 就像这篇文章所说 “一个流氓科学家借助其他科学成就了一个事.  那是不可能的.“

怎么看鹤副总 怎么觉得他像刘少奇?尤其是红鼻头 看他的履历 Seton Hall 和 Harvard 但是他发言总是聪明地用中文

另外老生常谈 lost in translation – 这篇有关中国的文章 署名 不是中国名字   合作者是中国名 – byline 为什么不用一个中国人?


How a Chinese Scientist Broke the Rules to Create the First Gene-Edited Babies

Dr. He Jiankui, seeking glory for his nation and justice for HIV-positive parents, kept his experiment secret, ignored peers’ warnings and faked a test
Two sisters entered the world prematurely one October night last year by emergency caesarean section. Staff at the Chinese hospital swaddled them in white, laying them in incubators.
The twins had a secret almost no one at the hospital knew. One man who did know was there, waiting—a U.S.-educated researcher, Dr. He Jiankui, who had flown into town to see them.
The twins were his creations, the world’s first known gene-edited human babies. He had worked toward this for two years, altering their genes as embryos to try making them resistant to their father’s HIV infection. Dr. He (pronounced “huh”) gave them pseudonyms, Lulu and Nana.
“I’m 70% happy and 30% uncertainty,” he said in an English voice message to a colleague that night.
His unease proved prescient. When the news broke, peers in China and abroad condemned him for manipulating life’s building blocks using a relatively untested gene-editing tool.
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Gene-editing trials involving terminally-ill adult humans are ongoing. But tinkering with embryos is more controversial because changes in them will pass to future generations, meaning a tiny blip could have far-reaching consequences.
At a Nov. 28 Hong Kong summit of leading geneticists, participants bombarded Dr. He with questions about his methods and ethics.
A day later, Chinese officials declared his experiment illegal. Authorities in January detained him after an initial probe alleged he forged an approval document and acted in “pursuit of personal fame.”
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He hasn’t been publicly heard from since November. Attempts to reach Dr. He, who appears to remain in custody, weren’t successful. His wife declined to comment through a person close to him. It isn’t clear if Dr. He has legal representation.
Dr. He, now 35, left behind the mystery of what motivated him to defy his field’s widely held ethical principles, how he carried out his trial in stealth, why nobody stopped him—and why he was so stunned by the backlash.
A picture of just how far the scientist went to fulfill his dream emerges from a Wall Street Journal examination of his notes, emails, voice memos, clinical-trial documents and from interviews with people who knew him, some of whom were familiar with his trial, and the birth of the babies.
His drive and interests were hardly secret: A small group of highly regarded Western peers watched from the sidelines, offering advice and urging caution. Dr. He held the scientist’s ambition to make history, people who know him said. He also wanted to address what he saw as an injustice in China against families with HIV-positive parents, who are barred from fertility treatments.
The scientist, who hadn’t run a human trial before, didn’t tell the doctor who implanted the twins’ mother that their genes were edited, and he kept the nature of his experiment secret from the hospital where it took place, said people familiar with the details of the trial. He faked the father’s blood test to avoid detection of his HIV, according to these people. He succumbed to the hopes of his patients, against his own medical judgement, and impregnated women eager to conceive.
A deeply patriotic man, Dr. He had expected plaudits from Beijing for helping in its goal of making China a force in genetic science, people who know him said. “He always spoke in a way as though he wanted to do good for the sake of his nation,” said Stanford University physician and neurobiologist William Hurlbut, who knows Dr. He but says the researcher didn’t tell him of implanting edited genes. “What’s so ironic is that he will be punished badly.”
Dr. He ignored Western scientists’ warnings that implanting edited embryos risked flouting his field’s ethical norms. None appear to have gone beyond giving warnings.
Rice University biochemical and genetic-engineering professor Michael Deem appears in a video of a meeting with parents who volunteered for the trial, in videos the Journal viewed. Dr. Deem, the Chinese scientist’s former doctoral adviser at Rice, was listed as a co-author of a research paper on the twins’ birth.
A lawyer for Dr. Deem said his client commented on Dr. He’s research but didn’t conduct it and that Dr. Deem had asked that his name be retracted from the paper.
Rice is investigating Dr. Deem’s role and declined to comment. Stanford, where Dr. He also studied, said it concluded its professors weren’t involved in his research.
“Everybody who knew anything should quit pointing fingers and come forward and say what are we going to do now—why we felt there was good and bad in this and how no one seemed to know how to proceed,” said Dr. Hurlbut, who said he began suspecting the Chinese researcher was planning such an experiment as their conversations deepened over many months.
Authorities have kept the location of Dr. He’s experiment secret. China’s Ministry of Science and Technology and a local agency investigating Dr. He didn’t respond to requests for comment.
Gene ethics
It is illegal to implant a genetically-modified human embryo in much of the Western world. The U.S. forbids the Food and Drug Administration, whose sign-off is needed for such an experiment, from considering it. China doesn’t have a law, but a 2003 guideline says “genetic manipulation of human gametes, zygotes and embryos for reproductive purposes is prohibited,” without outlining penalties.
A new gene-editing tool named Crispr-Cas9, which holds the promise of new disease treatments, has made ethics questions more urgent. The tool acts like molecular scissors that can target specific genes, cutting and splicing them to prevent or cure diseases.
One broadly held view is that it is too early to use Crispr on the human “germ line”—genes of sperm, eggs and embryos—because changes will pass on for generations and present the specter of unintended consequences to the human race. Lab research has shown Crispr-Cas9 can edit genes other than the ones intended. This means it could disrupt other genes, impairing functions or predisposing people to infections.
The latest international guideline came in a 2017 report from the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, and stood at odds with existing legislation in the West. It didn’t call for a ban on implanting edited embryos, saying it should be done “only for compelling medical reasons in the absence of reasonable alternatives, and with maximum transparency and strict oversight.”
Some scientists objected to Dr. He’s trial saying HIV protection wasn’t an unmet need—a fertility treatment can wash the virus off sperm to reduce transmission risk. Dr. He held that it was an unmet need among China’s HIV-positive parents who, banned from fertility clinics, didn’t have that option. He also held that gene editing could make offspring resistant for life to HIV, not just a parent’s infection.
“You could see that people in the West were totally outraged because you never need that here,” said Stanford biophysicist Stephen Quake, in whose lab Dr. He once worked. “But I can see why there may be a different view in China of what he did and a justification for it.”
The son of rice farmers, Dr. He graduated with a physics undergraduate degree in China and a Ph.D. from Rice, then switched to biology. He forged ties with Dr. Deem, a physicist who moved into biochemical engineering, and they published papers together. In 2010, he took a postdoctoral position in Dr. Quake’s Stanford lab.
He returned to China as a biology professor at the Southern University of Science and Technology. In 2012, he founded a gene-sequencing company, Direct Genomics, enlisting to its advisory board influential scientists including University of Massachusetts molecular biologist Craig Mello, a 2006 Nobel laureate.
Dr. He turned his attention to Crispr-Cas9, invented in 2012. In 2015, a group of Chinese researchers provoked a firestorm after using it to edit “nonviable” human embryos that can’t result in pregnancies. American scientists called it irresponsible to use the still-unproven tool on human embryos.
But it was a heady time for scientists in China, with President Xi Jinping urging them to “innovate, innovate, innovate!” and the Communist Party laying out goals to be a technological world player.
Dr. He began using Crispr in 2016 to edit the genes of mice, monkeys and nonviable human embryos. That fall, visiting Dr. Quake, he said: “I want to create the first gene-edited humans,” Dr. Quake recalled.
“You must do it carefully,” Dr. Quake said he warned him. “Otherwise, it will ruin your scientific career.”
In a 2017 meeting with Dr. He, Stanford’s Dr. Hurlbut said, “one of the first things he said to me when he sat down was, ‘The people against embryo research in the U.S., that’s just a fringe, just a fraction, right?’ ”
The American responded: “Not really, JK,” addressing Dr. He by the initials he uses in emails. “America’s pretty evenly divided on that issue.”
The U.S. government is barred from funding work that involves endangering, destroying, or creating embryos for research, Dr. Hurlbut told Dr. He. Such concern about something that hadn’t yet been born was hard to fathom for Dr. He, who has two young daughters.
Dr. Hurlbut said the Chinese scientist expressed incredulity, asking: “You mean something as small as this is as valuable as my 2-year-old daughter?” and pressing his forefinger against his thumb. Dr. Hurlbut responded: “That’s the way your little daughter’s life began.”
Dr. He was investigating editing a gene that can offer protection from familial hypercholesterolemia, a rare cholesterol-related disease that can cause broken bones in children. He changed his mind after visiting a village where he saw HIV-positive families facing discrimination, people close to him say. Children born to infected individuals weren’t able to attend regular schools. He saw a gene-editing trial as a way to use science against that injustice.
His team found 22 couples eager to conceive, some with fertility issues. The men were HIV-positive; the women weren’t. Visiting their homes, Dr. He’s team used PowerPoint slides to show how they would develop the couples’ embryos and edit genes to cause a mutation that research showed made it possible to resist HIV. The embryos would be implanted in the mothers.
Some slides noted potential risks, such as unintended consequences. Others showed a woman saying: “I want a child.”
In the slides’ background was etched the logo of the Southern University of Science and Technology, which later denied knowing about the experiment. The presentation said the project was funded by a grant from the country’s Ministry of Science and Technology, which later denied knowledge of the trial.
Eight selected couples met Dr. He, two at a time, starting in June 2017. A postdoctoral student did most of the talking, videos of the meetings show. Rice’s Dr. Deem is present in one of the videos, a silent observer. Dr. Deem’s lawyer declined to comment on his presence, saying his client didn’t conduct the informed-consent process.
By September 2017, all eight couples had enrolled, and Dr. He felt he had no time to waste, people close to the scientist say. Scientists at Oregon Health & Science University had just announced they used Crispr to correct a heart condition in viable embryos that they then destroyed.
The Americans weren’t condemned as the Chinese researchers were in 2015, Dr. He observed at the time. “If it’s not me,” he later recalled in a promotional video, “it’s someone else.”
Subterfuge
Dr. He’s team started implanting embryos in early 2018, according to a person familiar with the trial. He had planned to treat participants at a Shenzhen hospital whose ethics committee he said had approved his trial—the permission he needed under Chinese regulations. The hospital’s parent company later said the approval document was forged.
The couples selected didn’t live there, so Dr. He hired an embryologist at a different hospital to edit their embryos. The embryologist kept the true nature of Dr. He’s trial secret from his own hospital and the fertility doctor who would implant the embryos, according to the person familiar with the trial.
Only one of the embryos that became Lulu and Nana was successfully edited, but the couple wanted both implanted anyway, although they knew one twin probably wouldn’t have HIV resistance. When the hospital needed the father’s blood sample, Dr. He’s team produced an HIV-negative man to give blood, the person familiar with the trial said.
In April 2018, in an email exchange viewed by the Journal, Dr. He wrote Dr. Mello: “Good News! The women is pregnant, the genome editing success!”
Dr. Mello wrote back: “I’m glad for you, but I’d rather not be kept in the loop on this…I just don’t see why you are doing this,” saying he couldn’t understand using Crispr for HIV when existing methods reduced transmission.
Dr. Mello referred inquiries to a UMass spokeswoman, who said that he believed Dr. He in the email was referring to an experiment in China and that Dr. Mello didn’t know Dr. He was doing it himself.
Among other mentors Dr. He consulted was Stanford’s Dr. Quake, who said his former student told him he had the requisite approval from a Chinese hospital’s ethics committee, known in the U.S. as an institutional review board, or IRB. “If someone’s doing IRB-approved research, you’re saying, OK, they’ve looked at it,” Dr. Quake said. “You’re not in a position to judge whether it’s right or wrong…What are you going to do? Who are you going to call up?”
At times, Dr. He questioned whether he had been too emotional in choosing to target HIV, and should have stuck with familial hypercholesterolemia or picked a different disease, people he consulted say.
Before implanting embryos in more women, Dr. He had wanted to wait for the twins’ birth and data on them. But other participants pressured him to let them conceive. He warned one couple that data from the twins could show editing genes wasn’t as safe as he had hoped and that waiting might shield them and their unborn baby from potential harm. He made them sign a document, reviewed by the Journal, acknowledging his advice. His team implanted the couple, bringing the total to 13 embryos in five women, according to the person familiar with the trial.
One October evening, the twins’ expectant father called a member of Dr. He’s lab to say his wife was going into labor. Dr. He raced to Shenzhen airport, postdoctoral students in tow, and flew north.
A photo taken the next day shows a smiling Dr. He. An umbilical-cord tissue analysis found one twin’s DNA was successfully edited. The other was partially edited, making it unclear it would resist HIV.
The hospital remained unaware the twins were special until after the births, said the person familiar with the trial. Its ethics committee for stem-cell research subsequently issued a document saying it had agreed to participate in the trial, according to a text exchange between Dr. He and the person, who added that another person on the scientist’s team said the hospital backdated its approval to appear as though it had known all along.
In November, Dr. He submitted preliminary data on the twins to the scientific journal Nature, the paper on which Rice’s Dr. Deem was listed as a co-author. Nature declined to publish it after news of the births broke. A Nature spokeswoman said it doesn’t comment on its review process.
After a Direct Genomics board meeting in November, Dr. He approached Dr. Mello, who remained an adviser, according to a voice message the Chinese scientist sent a colleague. Dr. He said Dr. Mello told him that if he could find data showing healthy children born to HIV-infected parents were at great risk of contracting the virus later, it might help scientists embrace the idea of viral resistance, Dr. He noted in his voice note, heard by the Journal, adding that his team “must immediately find those data.”
On Nov. 22, he emailed Dr. Mello thanking him for his advice, saying: “Again, I won’t tell people that you know what is happening here.”
Dr. Mello says the in-person conversation didn’t take place, said the UMass spokeswoman, quoting him as saying: “I cannot explain why he acknowledges me for this” over email.
Dr. He initially planned his announcement for January after the twins were due. The premature births changed that. He was due to speak at the Hong Kong gene-editing conference about nonviable embryos. He decided to announce the births, according to people close to him.
Four days before the conference, he emailed Jennifer Doudna, a University of California, Berkeley, biochemist who co-invented Crispr-Cas9 and was on the organizing committee. “He was hellbent at announcing his work at the conference,” said Dr. Doudna, who said she hadn’t known about his work on human babies and was “very upset.”
He decided against announcing, but, as he headed for the summit, a news report broke about the births. At a dinner that evening, Dr. Doudna said, scientists asked Dr. He: “Do you understand that people are going to be very upset?”
“He seemed surprised,” she said, “to hear that people were concerned.”
In a 20-minute summit presentation, Dr. He detailed his Crispr research. Scientists, bioethicists and regulatory experts demanded: What were his methods? How did he recruit patients? Did he tell them of the risks?
“I don’t know how to answer these questions,” Dr. He said at one point, voice quivering.
Back in Shenzhen, he was on the phone with confidants including Benjamin Hurlbut, an Arizona State University bioethicist and son of Stanford’s Dr. Hurlbut. “He was trying to make sense of what went wrong in what he saw as a virtuous, important contribution to scientific progress,” Dr. Hurlbut said, adding that Dr. He told him: “I could’ve done it better.”
He told Dr. Hurlbut he remained hopeful his nation would stand by him.
In January, Chinese investigators released their initial findings, promising stiff penalties. Dr. He’s university fired him.
In letters addressed to the judiciary and reviewed by the Journal, three of his volunteers said they enrolled aware of the risks. “We wanted to contribute to science and society,” one wrote, “and, at the same time, wanted a healthy baby.”
In March, Chinese officials drafted stricter rules for human-gene editing. The World Health Organization is drafting global guidelines.
“Of course, he made his own choices. But he was a product of his environment,” Arizona University’s Dr. Hurlbut said of Dr. He. “The narrative of a rogue scientist excuses the rest of science from having played a role. That’s just not true,” he added.
Chinese authorities have given no information about Lulu and Nana. A second couple from Dr. He’s trial is awaiting birth of their gene-edited child—the couple he had warned against implanting.
Yifan Wang contributed to this article.
Write to Preetika Rana at [email protected]

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