human genetic modification

New human genome editing (HHGE) academy report: solid, but key gaps

The-International-Commission-on-the-Clinical-Use-of-Human-Germline-Genome-Editing-HHGE

Something called, “The International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome Editing” has issued a new report on heritable human genome editing (HHGE). The Commission was convened by the U.S. National Academy of Medicine, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, and the U.K.’s Royal Society. This post is my initial take on the summary of …

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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 …

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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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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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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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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 …

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7 tech hurdles to human germline CRISPR

Human-crispr-challenges

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 …

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1st Knockout Human Embryos Made with CRISPR: My Take on the Pub

Fogarty-Fig-3d-human-embryo-CRISPR-e1505774206656

Scientist make knockout human embryos with CRISPR? Today we see a new Nature paper (Fogarty, et al.) on CRISPR “gene editing” of human embryos, this time from the UK from Kathy Niakan’s group. Niakan got UK permission about 18 months ago to CRISPR healthy human embryos so they’ve been hard at work since. Because Fredrik …

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Mulling over that Mitalipov human embryo CRISPR pub, still many questions

human-embryo-modification

What really happened at the DNA level in the experiments in that high-profile CRISPR of human embryos paper from a team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at OHSU? Is the team right that they successfully conducted CRISPR of human embryos to correct a mutant gene, as they reported in their Ma, et al. Nature paper? Or is the Egli, …

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