September 21, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

CRISPR babies

3 min read

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 hearing “gene editing.” Now perhaps they think of babies bearing specific genetic changes. I bet most of them who think that way today are envisioning that He made very …Read More

3 min read

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 transmission of mitochondrial disease. The approach would try to prevent this terrible genetic disease but in the process would also create genetically modified babies. I lobbied the UK Parliament …Read More

2 min read

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 be made for Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury, who was very good at looking into a crystal ball and being right. The other 5 works, not so much. My answer …Read More