CRISPR

Recommended recent stem cell, peds cancer & CRISPR reads

dental-stem-cells

Here are some articles that look especially interesting on stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR. I was just at the SNO meeting in SFO on childhood brain tumors so those are on my mind more. Childhood cerebellar tumours mirror conserved fetal transcriptional programs (Nature) Childhood brain tumors “think” they are building organds in fetuses. H3.3 K27M depletion …

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

CRISPR-gene-edit-vs-mutation-1

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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How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying: check out new book with my daughter Julie

How-to-Build-a-Dragon-or-Die-Trying

My daughter Julie and I have written a book together entitled,  “How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying, A satirical look at cutting edge science.” The book will be out sometime in June most likely. This is a very different kind of book than my first two, Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide and GMO …

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

CRISPR-baby

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)

He-Jiankui-贺建奎

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

CRISPR-gene-edit-vs-mutation-1

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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Mixed messages on CRISPR babies from National Academies versus their experts: a look at new Science piece

National-Academy-CRISPR-Baby-article

Three national academy leaders have a new opinion piece in Science on what the community needs to do next regarding human germline editing now that we are most likely in the CRISPR babies era. Some of us have been wondering what the Academies and their empowered experts really think about this issue and what they …

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History tells us to be more skeptical of He Jiankui’s CRISPR baby story

Fake-cloning

Could He Jiankui have faked part or all of his CRISPR babies story? If so, how? Why? Or to put it another way, almost everyone seems to be assuming the story is real, but should we be more skeptical? Should we flip things around and assume the story isn’t entirely kosher until proven otherwise? I once …

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He Jiankui didn’t really gene edit those girls; he mutated them

CRISPR-gene-edit-vs-mutation-1

Did Chinese researcher He Jiankui really CRISPR gene edit the CCR5 gene in two embryos producing twin baby girls? In my opinion the answer is “no”, but probably not for the reason you might think at first. He proclaims gene edits He claimed he had made twin baby girls with “gene edits”, which I feel is unethical …

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