CRISPR-Cas9

Why I Disagree with Steven Pinker On CRISPR

Steve-Pinker

Professor Steven Pinker of Harvard has been making the case recently that when it comes to novel biotechnologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 that bioethics should just get out of the way. Further, he has argued that we do not need a moratorium on clinical use of CRISPR-Cas9 for human genetic modification. In fact, he says that …

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Why interview Steven Pinker on my blog if I strongly disagree with him?

blog-ethos

Earlier this week I posted an interview with Steven Pinker on CRISPR, human germline modification, and bioethics. With only a few exceptions, I strongly disagree with Pinker’s philosophy in these areas and I knew going into the interview that his answers would likely go against my own views. I also expected the interview would anger …

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Exciting CRISPR-powered “gene drive” also has scientists deeply concerned

Gene-Drive

Scientists studying genetics are both excited and worried about a powerful, new technology called “gene drive“. Some have been raising serious concerns about gene drive and in certain cases calling for proactive regulation, which is unusual in science. This method is so powerful because it is designed to induce genetic changes in an entire population …

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Steven Pinker interview: case against bioethocrats & CRISPR germline ban

Steven-Pinker

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology is red-hot right now and I’ve been doing interviews with various thought leaders on it, which today includes Steven Pinker. This technology has great power for research in the lab and there are hypothetical transformative clinical applications of CRISPR too. The latter efforts could include experimental attempts at reversal of disease-causing …

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Global transhumanism leader Natasha Vita-More on human germline modification

Transhuman-Visions-2-14

In my continuing series of conversations with thought leaders related to heritable human modification, today’s post is an interview with Natasha Vita-More, a pioneer in the transhumanism movement and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Humanity+ (H+), the global transhumanist organization. Where do you see transhumanism today? Has it changed over the years? What …

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Interview with transhumanism leader Maria Konovalenko

Maria-Konovalenko

The transhumanism movement has been garnering attention lately for a variety of views including embracing aspects of heritable human genetic modification. Earlier this year I interviewed geneticist and transhumanist, George Church. In this post I interview molecular biophysicist and transhumanist Maria Konovalenko. She is the program coordinator at the Science for Life Extension Foundation. In …

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Congress: FDA should consult religious experts on embryo CRISPR

Crystal_Structure_of_Cas9_in_Complex_with_Guide_RNA_and_Target_DNA

The US Congress recently held its first hearing on human germline genetic modification. The meeting included CRISPR-Cas9 pioneer Jennifer Doudna (see video here) on the panel. See image of Cas9 structure from Wikipedia. CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful, strikingly efficient tool for genetic engineering of cells and whole organisms. Now Republican congressional leaders have included a …

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Insider Trends on Stem Cells to Look Out for at ISSCR 2015 Stockholm

isscr2015_lockup_hi-res

The annual ISSCR meeting has started in Stockholm. This is always a great annual meeting both for the science and for connecting with people including new friends and colleagues as well as old friends. Another element to the meeting is the insider conversations in the halls, restaurants, and bars that tell a behind the scenes …

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Doudna & Others Testify to Congress on CRISPR, Human Germline Editing

Jennifer-Doudna

The House Subcommittee on Research and Technology on Tuesday held a CRISPR hearing: “The Science and Ethics of Genetically Engineered Human DNA”. At the meeting, CRISPR pioneer Dr. Jennifer Doudna gave testimony along with Dr. Victor Dzau who is the President of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), Dr. …

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