CRISPR

Trying to connect the dots on CRISPR baby story paints a dark, cloudy picture

connect-the-dots

When I was a little kid I played this game called “connect the dots” or “dot-to-dot”, where you draw a line from dot-to-dot in numerical order and at some point a picture starts to emerge. I think kids and even some adults still play this today. They even come in extreme versions with hundreds or …

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Why CRISPR baby production (if it happened) was unethical & dangerous

Jiankui-He-who-claims-CRISPR-baby-production

Reports are out that a scientist in China has been working to make a CRISPR baby for some time and supposedly has made twin genetically modified babies. I see this work as unethical and dangerous. Just a couple years ago when I published my book GMO Sapiens on potential use of CRISPR in a heritable manner …

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Quick Q&A with ViaCyte CEO on CRISPR-stem cell work

VC-01-post-implant-final1-e1503703572933, viacyte

We heard this week about the encouraging news of a new CRISPR-stem cell collaboration between stem cell biotech ViaCyte and CRISPR Therapeutics. The goal of the team is to make genetically engineered pancreatic derivatives from stem cells that would have a unique immune stealthiness. If such an approach was successful, patients would not need to …

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ViaCyte & CRISPR Therapeutics team up to battle diabetes

ViaCyte, cell therapy for diabetes

What happens when one of the most exciting stem cell biotechs ViaCyte teams up with a firm like CRISPR Therapeutics to use a combination of gene editing and cell therapy? Hopefully a synergistic partnership emerges that in this case can develop an effective stem cell-based therapy for diabetes. You can see a press release on …

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CRISPR update: lots of new pubs, news, & maybe a patent finale

Figure-1a-from-Akcakaya-et-al.-paper-Nature-2018

Sometimes it seems like a bunch of stuff in one area, like with CRISPR this week, happens all of a sudden in science. A bunch of fairly high-profile gene editing pubs came out. They generated a lot of news reports. Other news in this arena popped up too, all within a few days. In vivo …

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Mitalipov rebuts CRISPR pub critiques: strengthens case, but puzzles remain

Ma-et-al.-2018-Nature-FIgure-1

Remember that Shoukhrat Mitalipov lab paper on the use of CRISPR in human embryos? It’s back in the news. One of the biggest stories of 2017 centered on a Nature paper (Ma, et al., see my quick, initial review shortly after it was published here) from Mitalipov’s lab claiming both efficient repair of a disease-causing …

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Mixed Nuffield Council Report Too Aspirational on Human Genetic Modification

Designer-baby

It’s an odd confluence of events this week that (A) the Nuffield Council, an ethics think tank, gives a thumbs up in a new report to heritable human genetic modification that would probably include using CRISPR in the same week that (B) a new paper reports that CRISPR can cause unpredictable genomic damage and several other concerning reports …

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Mulling over latest CRISPR tumult, this one from Nat Biot pub on DNA lesions

CRISPR-dart-board

If it seems to you like dramatic cautionary tales about CRISPR accompanied by all sorts of media are coming at us more frequently, it’s not your imagination. In the latest yesterday, it was reported in a new paper led by Allan Bradley that CRISPR-Cas9 results in sometimes large-scale chromosomal lesions at or even away from the …

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TGIF weekend reads: senolytics, new CRISPR, stem cells, & 3 wacky things

Mulas-et-al.-Development

Over the weekends I try to catch up on more diverse reading and sometimes come up with a list of stuff I want to get to during this time, but I also put together weekend reads usually on Fridays as a kind of TGIF on The Niche for the wider audience here. So here’s the …

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Poll: heritable CRISPR tried in humans in next 10 years?

CRISPR-baby

Heritable CRISPR to be tried in humans sooner or later…or never? Will someone somewhere in the world try to use CRISPR gene editing or related technology to introduce heritable genetic changes into actual human beings in the next decade? I’m not talking about gene editing viable human embryos just for research which is already ongoing, …

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