It’s funny how sometimes there are many new articles about one general topic like this week with heritable (and somatic) human CRISPR gene editing and related tech. There are clear reasons for optimism in the somatic arena given advancing trials. Germline editing remains highly questionable in my view even just technically. Then there are loads of ethical issues.
On a brief fun different note, the theme of the NYT crossword puzzle this past Thursday was stem cells See below).
Mitochondrial replacement therapy (MRT), also sometimes known as “three-parent baby” technology has evolved from an idea to something that is cautiously being explored in the real world. Not surprisingly, possible risks have manifested in actual experimental clinical efforts. These include the disease-associated mtDNA bouncing back in children conceived via the procedure, which seeks to use a donor’s mtDNA via nuclear transfer.
Human CRISPR and MRT
- Beyond CRISPR babies: How human genome editing is moving on after scandal, Nature.
- Intellia Therapeutics Stock Surges On A First-Ever In CRISPR Gene Editing, Investors.
- CRISPR patent fight redux? A new battle is brewing among biotechs over next-gen gene-editing tools, STAT News.
- Three-parent baby technique could create babies at risk of severe disease, MIT Tech Review.
- First pilot study of maternal spindle transfer for the treatment of repeated in vitro fertilization failures in couples with idiopathic infertility, Fertility & Sterility.
More recommended reads
- Are Human Stem Cells The Future Of Skincare? Vogue. So far the answer is generally a big “no”. I wouldn’t normally link to a piece like this but the author doesn’t do a bad job of challenging some assumptions. Also, it seems like people are just nuts for supposed “stem cell cosmetics” these days. There needs to be some pushback. Check out my fact-check of Augustinus Bader stem cell creams, for example.
- Correction: Rosalind Franklin’s crucial contribution to the discovery of DNA’s structure, NPR. NPR really goofed and is trying to make things better.
- Investigation spotlights rise of for-profit ethics boards in research, WaPo. For-profit IRBs have been a major concern related to unproven stem cell clinics. The clinics have at times formed their own IRBs to aid each other it seems.