October 1, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

CRISPR ethics

3 min read

Last year I heard from several sources that there somewhere between 3-5 unpublished manuscripts reporting the use of CRISPR gene targeting in human embryos being shopped around at various journals in addition to the one that had been published. Since that time we’ve seen a grand total of one additional paper reporting on CRISPR of human embryos. So what gives? Were the sources wrong? I don’t think so and I believe there are additional labs pursuing research on the use of CRISPR in human embryos. …Read More

2 min read

The CRISPR meeting has started off wonderfully with a talk by Ben Hurlbut. His talk was entitled, “The Demands of CRISPR’s World: Imagination, Deliberation and Governance”. Since I took notes and listened this post is somewhat freeform. I liked how Ben asked a lot of questions. What is “CRISPR’s world” as Science Magazine called it? How do we want to use the capability of CRISPR? Ben made a comparison to nuclear physics and the development and use of atomic bombs. He quoted throughout his talk …Read More

11 min read

Below is a conversation with bioethics commentator Kelly Hills (who BTW has a great blog), tackling some of the key issues surrounding the potential use of CRISPR-Cas9 technology to make heritable human genetic modification. I really appreciate her clear and insightful answers to some tough questions that many are grappling with today on this topic. Part of the possible power of some forms of human genetic modification procedures being considered for potential future use is that they are heritable. This means, for example, that embryonic …Read More

5 min read

Last Thursday I participated in a meeting at Stanford Law School on human germline genetic modification hosted by Hank Greely (pictured at left), Professor of Law and Genetics at Stanford. The meeting was entitled, “Human Germline Modification: Medicine, Science, Ethics, and Law”. The panel included in addition to Hank and me, the following speakers: Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS); Christopher (Chris) Thomas Scott, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and Lynn M. Westphal, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University Medical School. …Read More