New information from China has suggested that the twins recently created using CRISPR gene-editing technology to make them HIV-resistance could also develop genetically-enhanced brains. Alcino J Silva, a neurobiologist at the University of California, has allegedly said that the experiment will affect the brains of the children, though she said this prediction was entirely speculative based on mouse model evidence which showed animals subjected to the same technique used on the twins became more intelligent than their peers.

In her interview with an MIT publication, Ms Silva said: “The work on mice demonstrates the answer may be yes – but mice are not people. We simply don’t know what the consequences will be in mucking around with humans. We are not ready for it yet.”

Since the Chinese government said in January 2019 that it had transferred He Jiankui over to public security authorities and would deal with experiment participants “severely”, it has emerged that government could well have provided some funding for the research. Documents allegedly reviewed by STAT News suggest at least three government agencies in China gave Jiankui funding.