September 21, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

designer babies

9 min read

Human germline CRISPR raises major bioethical considerations, but what about technical issues? Setting aside the many ethical issue about the general idea of human modification itself, could this really work? Yes in theory it could, but there are some very tough technological challenges that could and likely would cause failures or unacceptable outcomes at many steps along the way. These failures or unacceptable outcomes could easily involve real, live people who could be harmed or die. It’s very different than simple in vitro research so …Read More

7 min read

It’s germline, heritable human CRISPR time, right? Wrong. But the particularly enthusiastic supporters of heritable human CRISPR often cite hypothetical benefits in glowing terms, but either don’t mention risks or strongly downplay them. These fans also tend to leave alternative, proven and safe technologies such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) out of the discussion or only mention them as an afterthought. In reality, the vast majority of anything that CRISPR could hypothetically achieve heritably in human reproduction can be done better, more simply, and …Read More

8 min read

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 of the conclusions of this paper are subject to critiques that are being considered by editors. Some of these critiques have been publicly deposited in preprint form. A further …Read More

3 min read

Is President Donald Trump a fan of eugenics? He seems to believe that he comes from greatly superior genetic stock. He hasn’t said much of anything about CRISPR ‘gene editing’ technology that can readily alter the genetic code of cells of nearly any organism, including humans, but Trump has a fascination with the concept of “good genes” that sounds eerily similar to eugenics and could link together CRISPR & Eugenics. If you watch the video above, you’ll see many striking quotes from Trump on his …Read More