October 25, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

CRISPR human embryos

4 min read

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 overall and risky to those babies. He’s announcement also may have been intentionally timed to occur right before an international meeting on human gene (or genome) editing last week …Read More

3 min read

In December of each year I make a list of stem cell predictions for the coming year, and I made 20 such predictions for 2017 so I’m wondering how I’m doing so far on these now that it’s June. Below is my work-in-progress scorecard for these so far. Positive news from Asterias on trial for stem cell-based therapy for spinal cord injury. Status: Correct, trial looking encouraging. Upbeat news from ViaCyte on stem cell-based therapy trial for diabetes. Status: Correct, raising $10M and things looking promising. More positive news …Read More

1 min read

It’s been a busy few weeks for the CRISPR arena so I’ve made a CRISPR Update. I’ve listed below links to some commentaries and key developments.   Fun Video interview on Read Science! with Joanne Manaster on my new book on CRISPR in humans, GMO Sapiens. CRISPR: Pursuit of profit poisons collaboration, Nature piece by Jacob Sherkow HIV Fights Off CRISPR Gene-Editing Attack. HIV adapts when CRISPR attacks. 2nd group CRISPR’s human embryos and things don’t go well. More Indels than precise gene edits, mosaicism and …Read More

3 min read

With the approval today of the use of CRISPR in human embryos, the UK continues its recent trend toward a more permissive regulatory policy on human genetic modification. There are both risks and scientific benefits that come along with this trend. Last year the UK approved an experimental technology with the goal of preventing the transmission of mitochondrial disease. The approach would try to prevent this terrible genetic disease but in the process would also create genetically modified babies. I lobbied the UK Parliament …Read More