May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Month: March 2015

1 min read

In celebrate the start of Spring yesterday, here are some pics from my garden. I have so little time I kind of neglect it, but sometimes it all turns out anyway. (update: you may enjoy reading our Scientist in the Garden series) Above you can see the edge of one of the beds with over-wintered & self-reseeded sweet alyssum in white and purple. Intermixed I have tulips and miniature carnations, with the latter surviving the winter. The climate in Davis, CA can be very …Read More

3 min read

CRISPR Cas9 gene editing technology is a game changer on many levels both inside and soon outside the lab. There is a growing sense of urgency amongst biomedical scientists to take a proactive approach to current and future use of CRISPR gene editing technology in human germ cells and embryos. These concerns have been heightened by rumors of multiple papers currently in various stages of peer review that will reportedly describe CRISPR-mediated gene editing of human embryos. A number of scientists and scientific organizations have recently come …Read More

2 min read

In a new perspectives piece in Science, Nobel Laureate David Baltimore and co-authors including Jennifer Doudna and George Church, chart a potential path forward for human germline engineering. See also accompanying Bioethics piece by Gretchen Vogel as well, “Embryo engineering alarm”. In the piece, entitled “A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification” calls for further discussion and assessment of key potential benefits and risks to moving forward with this technology. The illustration included here is from the piece. The piece …Read More

2 min read

The International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) just now released a new policy statement on human germline gene editing. The statement calls for a ban on clinical application of human germline gene editing technology. Here is the brief summary statement at the beginning: The International Society for Stem Cell Research calls for a moratorium on attempts at clinical application of nuclear genome editing of the human germ line to enable more extensive scientific analysis of the potential risks of genome editing and broader public …Read More

1 min read

The field recently saw Lanphier, et al. in Nature calling for a moratorium on human germilne genetic modification. A number of additional stakeholders are expected to be weighing in soon on the issue of human germline gene editing. For example, a Science paper from others in the gene editing community is anticipated soon and may well have somewhat different perspectives. I’ve been polling on this issue and there seems to be rather broad, international support for some kind of moratorium. Respectful, open and diverse dialogue will prove crucial to formulating a wise …Read More

1 min read

In a still ongoing on-line poll, readers of this blog show a pattern of consistently favoring a moratorium on genetic modification of human germ cells. With more than 150 votes cast, the top two answers are ‘strongly favor’ and ‘favor’ a moratorium on human germline genetic modification. Only 15% strongly opposed a moratorium. Overall those favoring a moratorium were 52.6% of respondents, while those opposed were 35,5%. These numbers could change over time and this poll is not scientific. Notably, when I examined voting …Read More