CRISPR babies

Weekend reads include stem cell pubs, cancer link to heart disease, CRISPR babies & of course emu oil

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Here in the U.S. we just had our big Thanksgiving holiday, but science goes, stem cells keep growing and needing attention, and it’s another weekend chance to catch up on our paper reading. Here’s this weekend edition of recommended reads including news items and pubs. From Cell Stem Cell: Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis of Uniparental Embryos Reveals …

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Calling Out Denis Rebrikov CRISPR Babies Plan

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A Russian Scientist named Denis Rebrikov told Nature and then other media including NPR last week that he plans to make CRISPR babies. In other words, babies with heritable genetic modifications. I don’t doubt that Rebrikov (pictured in ResearchGate image) might want to do this nor that he might try it, but rather I’m writing …

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CRISPR baby moratorium grows likely with rising tide of support including from biotech

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Trying to make a CRISPR baby any time soon would be a really bad idea. How bad? Last December 3rd I penned a piece for STAT News arguing for a moratorium on the heritable use of CRISPR in humans. This potential future, radical application of “gene editing” is now often colloquially referred to as “CRISPR …

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Counterpoints to Lovell-Badge & Daley’s CRISPR baby rationales

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Two prominent scientists, Robin Lovell-Badge and George Daley, have been amongst the most outspoken proponents of leaving the door open to heritable human genetic modification via CRISPR. While they each have articulated their reasons in somewhat different ways at times, their core reasons arguing in favor of future heritable CRISPR appear largely the same. In …

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When the state & ‘rogue’ scientists collide: case of China & CRISPR baby guy He Jiankui (贺建奎)

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What happens next to He Jiankui (贺建奎) or as some people now refer to him, the “CRISPR baby guy”? China has a challenging situation to resolve here, but such conflicts between scientists and governments have happened regularly in history. When scientists go “rogue” (i.e. don’t conform to norms or ethical standards in an extreme way or …

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Who is He Jiankui’s mentor Michael Deem & is he trying to edit himself out of CRISPR baby project?

Michael-Deem

Who is Michael Deem and what was his role in his former student He Jiankui’s purported production of twin CRISPR’d babies? Is Deem now trying to edit himself out of the project? He Jiankui relied on help from many people and Deem was reportedly a part of that team. Members of He’s own research team helped …

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Context for my Nature piece on redefining “gene edit” to be more precise

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When I say “gene edit” or “genome editing”, what’s the first thing that pops in your mind? It will depend on who you are. For many lay people until a few weeks ago when the world heard about He Jiankui‘s claim of CRISPR’d babies they may not have had anything pop in their heads when …

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CRISPR embryo OK signals ongoing liberal UK trend on human modification

Kathy-Niakan

With the approval today of the use of CRISPR in human embryos, the UK continues its recent trend toward a more permissive regulatory policy on human genetic modification. There are both risks and scientific benefits that come along with this trend. Last year the UK approved an experimental technology with the goal of preventing the …

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NYT asks which sci-fi work is most prescient today: I think GATTACA

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The New York Times recently asked 6 people what sci-fi movie or novel is most prescient today; in my view it’s GATTACA. The responses ran the gamut: Fahrenheit 451, The Martian, The Fifth Season, The Body Snatchers, Book of the New Sun, and Use of Weapons. To me of those 6, the best case can …

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