CRISPR babies

Perspectives on CRISPR baby guy He Jiankui (贺建奎) going to jail

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

Scientist He Jiankui(贺建奎) has been sentenced to 3 years in prison by Chinese authorities. Two collaborators also will go to jail. A piece in Science by Dennis Normile on the sentencing of He Jiankui ID’d the other two: “His collaborators were identified as Zhang Renli, of a medical institution in Guangdong province, and Qin Jinzhou, from a Shenzhen …

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B+ on my report card on my 20 stem cell predictions for 2019

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Last year around this time I took my annual plunge to make 20 predictions for the coming year for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. I even made a crystal ball graphic to highlight the complexity of the stem cell ecosystem into which these predictions were embedded (see image) for 2019. How’d I do? …

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Calling Out Denis Rebrikov CRISPR Babies Plan

Denis-Rebrikov-1

A Russian Scientist named Denis Rebrikov told Nature and then other media including NPR last week that he plans to make CRISPR babies. In other words, babies with heritable genetic modifications. I don’t doubt that Rebrikov (pictured in ResearchGate image) might want to do this nor that he might try it, but rather I’m writing …

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

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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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Weekend reads include herding brains, stem cells, & CRISPR

Stem-cells-the-niche-anti-aging

Every so often here on The Niche I list science and news articles worth a look as “weekend reads”. Below is my list for this weekend. Enjoy! The first article doesn’t really fit into the other main categories, but the title “herding brains” caught my eye. Stem Cells Stem cells and regenerative capacity in aging …

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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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