July 13, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

CRISPR baby

7 min read

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 it really a good time to be pushing CRISPR babies? The original “CRISPR baby guy” He Jiankui was recently sentenced to three years in prison for a variety of actions …Read More

5 min read

Two prominent scientists, Robin Lovell-Badge and George Daley, have been amongst the most outspoken proponents of leaving the door open to heritable human genetic modification via CRISPR. While they each have articulated their reasons in somewhat different ways at times, their core reasons arguing in favor of future heritable CRISPR appear largely the same. In this post I tackle each of these arguments in favor of leaving the door open to “CRISPR babies” with science-based counterarguments. I also raise larger risks to going down …Read More

5 min read

What happens next to He Jiankui (贺建奎) or as some people now refer to him, the “CRISPR baby guy”? China has a challenging situation to resolve here, but such conflicts between scientists and governments have happened regularly in history. When scientists go “rogue” (i.e. don’t conform to norms or ethical standards in an extreme way or potentially break laws), governments are often unsure what to do. Also, who decides what’s “rogue”? Where is the line between positive transformative science and something that is really wrong? …Read More

4 min read

For a long time at the end of each year, I’ve been making stem cell predictions for the coming year. Most often I’ve been making a “top 20” list of predictions and today’s post has my list for 2019. You can see how I did for 2018 here, which might have been my best year ever for predictions. We’ll see if I can match that here for 2019. I doubt it. However, I do think my prediction that 2019 will be the worst year …Read More