bioethics

Perspectives on Biohackers and DIY CRISPR

biohackers series sm

How should we view biohackers and their DIY use of CRISPR outside of the traditional industry or academic lab environment? Introduction to “Biohackers” and DIY CRISPR Who are biohackers exactly? They are people who “hack” their own biology by transforming their bodies through the insertion of technology or modification of their DNA. More rarely, biohackers …

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Stem cell blogging dilemmas: patient disclosures, lawsuits, & more

stem-cell-blogging-dilemmas-

After all this time writing on The Niche here since 2010, I still haven’t entirely resolved certain blogging dilemmas including when a patient discloses something. It’s kind of a jungle out there on the internet. What kinds of tough blogging dilemmas do I face? I’m just going to give you some examples of the more common …

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New stem cell pubs including artificial human embryo work

Fig-4d-Nat-Cell-Bio-2019-Simunovic-et-al

In this post I list some recent interesting stem cell and science pubs including artificial human embryo research. Engineered human embryo research continues. Scientists for years have been advancing the types of embryo-like structures made from both human and other creature’s cells. In a new Nature Cell Bio pub entitled, “A 3D model of a …

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Weekend Stem Cell Reads: Naked mole rats, geckos, brain gel, & more

naked-mole-rats

Here are some stem cell reads for the weekend, ranging from media to research articles. TGIF! What are your stem cell or other science weekend reads? Let’s start with how difficult it is to make IPS cells from naked mole rats! Naked Mole Rat Cells Have a Stable Epigenome that Resists iPSC Reprogramming. It takes more than …

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Why Mitalipov’s ‘magic’ room for human embryo CRISPR may give us pause

Shoukhrat-Mitalipov

The debate over whether the main conclusions of the Nature paper on human embryo CRISPR led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s lab at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) are correct remains unresolved. Note that Nature just added an editorial alert just above the references section to their paper: “Updated online 02 October 2017. Editorial Note: Readers are alerted that some …

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Six questions as FDA takes new shot at stem cell clinics

FDA-draft-guidance

The FDA issued a historic statement today promising to more clearly define its regulatory policies on stem cell therapies and to take strong action on some stem cell clinics that it views as “bad actors”. I’ve never the FDA use such clear-cut language before. I give big kudos to new FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. It already …

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FDA chides US doc who genetically modified human embryo in reported 3-person IVF

John-Zhang-with-3-person-IVF-baby

The FDA sent a stern letter today to Dr. John Zhang, PhD, MD, the physician who last year created a genetically modified human embryo in the U.S. and then exported it to Mexico where he self-reported creating a genetically modified baby boy. While the genetically modified baby created in Mexico was reportedly seemingly OK, it’s not clear …

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Big 5 questions anticipating Mitalipov human embryo CRISPR paper

human-embryo-modification

The human embryo CRISPR paper with Shoukhrat Mitalipov as senior author is coming soon. It will reportedly be focused on the use of CRISPR to genetically modify viable human embryos for reversal of a disease-associated mutation. While strangely press already broke early on this paper last week, as much as a week before the paper …

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Kelly Hills interview: human genetic modification & bioethics

Kelly-Hills

Below is a conversation with bioethics commentator Kelly Hills (who BTW has a great blog), tackling some of the key issues surrounding the potential use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to make heritable human genetic modification. I really appreciate her clear and insightful answers to some tough questions that many are grappling with today on this topic. Part …

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