human embryo research

Heads up on Hui Yang, another potential aspiring CRISPR baby researcher

-Yui-Hang

Making a CRISPR baby is a controversial idea to even propose now for many reasons, yet even after He Jiankui’s train wreck some people have seemed eager to try it including apparently a scientist whose name perhaps many readers here are not so familiar with in this context: Professor Hui Yang. ‘CRISPR baby guys’ Is …

Heads up on Hui Yang, another potential aspiring CRISPR baby researcher Read More »

Monkey-pig chimeras pub discouraging for similar human research toward organ transplants

pig-monkey-chimera-that-was-born-but-died

Michael Le Page over at The New Scientist reports on a new paper describing the birth of monkey-piglet chimeras. Unlike most such primate embryo chimeras formed in research in the past, these were allowed to be born. A litter of ten from the new monkey-pig research, two of which were chimeras, all rather quickly died …

Monkey-pig chimeras pub discouraging for similar human research toward organ transplants Read More »

Levrier guest post on CRISPR Consensus Meeting – “we all must get involved in this debate”

Guillaume-Levrier

By Guillaume Levrier Human germline editing has been done before. It will be done again in the future, as it is relatively easy to perform. No mechanism with the de facto ability to prevent it from being organized has yet been designed, let alone implemented. But the fact that germline editing has, can, and will …

Levrier guest post on CRISPR Consensus Meeting – “we all must get involved in this debate” Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

Mixed Nuffield Council Report Too Aspirational on Human Genetic Modification Read More »

Why we shouldn’t view the human embryo as a gizmo even in the CRISPR era

human-embryo-modification

My first job in science was as a lab technician at UCSD School of Medicine and a big part of that job was growing cells called HUVECs or human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We isolated and grew the HUVECs from umbilical cords that we retrieved from the maternity ward of the UCSD hospital, which first …

Why we shouldn’t view the human embryo as a gizmo even in the CRISPR era Read More »

UK Biologist Niakan Asks to Make GM Human Embryos For Research

Kathy-Niakan

UK biologist Kathy Niakan has asked governmental permission to make GM human embryos using CRISPR. Earlier this year, a research team in China crossed a scientific line for the first time in history by using gene editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9 to make genetically modified (GM) human embryos. Other researchers around the world including now one …

UK Biologist Niakan Asks to Make GM Human Embryos For Research Read More »