May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Month: May 2015

2 min read

Many of us scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars are working on educational outreach to the public on the potential use of gene editing technologies to genetically modify human beings, but clearly there’s a long way to go and much more to do on this front. The future use of CRISPR to edit the human genome in a heritable manner could be imminent or many years away, but clearly there is a move in that direction technologically and there are advocates of human modification such as some …Read More

4 min read

Christopher Thomas Scott Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics Director, Program on Stem Cells in Society   A decade ago I wrote an article in the journal Nature Biotechnology about the rise of a new gene editing technology called zinc finger nucleases (ZNF). It was one of those “drumbeat” discoveries: at the time, my sense was it would revolutionize how we deliver genes to cells and tissues, and profoundly change the way we think about gene therapy. I was partially right. Although ZNFs are now …Read More

5 min read

Last Thursday I participated in a meeting at Stanford Law School on human germline genetic modification hosted by Hank Greely (pictured at left), Professor of Law and Genetics at Stanford. The meeting was entitled, “Human Germline Modification: Medicine, Science, Ethics, and Law”. The panel included in addition to Hank and me, the following speakers: Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS); Christopher (Chris) Thomas Scott, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and Lynn M. Westphal, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University Medical School. …Read More

5 min read

What is the “proper” amount of freedom of choice for patients in medicine? What if the treatments in question are experimental and come with their own baggage of associated risks, personal costs, and potential costs to society? More broadly, do patients have a fundamental right to medical choice? These questions seem particularly appropriate today on a number of fronts including Right To Try laws and vaccines as well as emerging stem cell and other biomedical technologies. The recent measles outbreaks including the one sparked at …Read More

2 min read

Statins have been hailed as some of the best drugs ever. Given the massive, deadly prevalence of cardiovascular disease, some have even semi-jokingly talked about putting statins in the water supply for public health. The growing evidence (e.g. this story) that statins might significantly aid in prevention, delayed progression, or even post-treatment delay of recurrence o cancer seemed to add to the glowing rep of statins. As a prostate cancer survivor, the news on statins and prostate cancer seemed particularly notable. But then another …Read More

2 min read

One of the many interesting ways in which “stem cells” are named in different languages around the world is “mother cells”. For example, in Spanish, you can learn more about these “mother cells” here in ¿Qué son las células madre? On Mother’s Day it is worth thinking about where the stem cell field stands at this time. There has never been a more exciting time than today for stem cell research and the related area of regenerative medicine. There is good reason for hope that …Read More