January 19, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

CRISPR human

4 min read

Reports are out that a scientist in China has been working to make a CRISPR baby for some time and supposedly has made twin genetically modified babies. I see this work as unethical and dangerous. Just a couple years ago when I published my book GMO Sapiens on potential use of CRISPR in a heritable manner in humans, some people said it would only happen decades down the road if at all due to technological issues. I was too worried, they said. Others said no …Read More

5 min read

Every year in December I go out onto a limb and make stem cell predictions for the coming year as I did in late 2017 for this year. Then usually around the 1/2-way point through the year I check in on how the predictions are faring so far at that point. In this post I give my 2018 predictions (pasted below) the 1/2-way point checkup. Things are off to a reasonably strong start for the old stem cell crystal ball.  For the grading, green is …Read More

2 min read

Science hype is one of the more troublesome issues in our field today especially at its interface with the media, and unfortunately a ‘great’ example of that came this past week in a headline from the Daily Mail on the new CRISPR of human embryos paper from Kathy Niakan’s group in the UK. Although Niakan’s group was generally appropriately cautious in their new Nature paper about potential clinical implications of their work and didn’t hype possible reproductive use of CRISPR in humans at all, they …Read More

7 min read

What really happened at the DNA level in the experiments in that high-profile CRISPR of human embryos paper from a team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at OHSU? Is the team right that they successfully conducted CRISPR of human embryos to correct a mutant gene, as they reported in their Ma, et al. Nature paper? Or is the Egli, et al. preprint that came out later in response to the Ma paper more likely to be correct in their implied argument that something else very probably happened instead? We …Read More

3 min read

The new CRISPR human embryo paper from Shoukhrat Mitalipov is stirring things up, but then there’s also the murky back story as to how the news of this as yet unpublished paper got leaked in the first place. The actual paper is still not out and from what I understand hasn’t even been officially released by Nature in embargoed form to journalists. So what the heck happened? Specific details of the Mitalipov paper popped up a couple of days ago on Tech Review and on …Read More

3 min read

The first report of the use of CRISPR gene editing in normal human embryos was published today as a short paper from a team in China. There have been rumors for over a year that more CRISPR human embryo papers were coming including some using normal embryos. Here’s one and we can now expect more even as there remain scientific and ethical discussions about this kind of work. You can read the actual paper Tang, et al. here, published in the journal Molecular Genetics & Genomics. …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

CRISPR is the hottest new biotechnology and the top development of 2015 according to Science Magazine. What will the new year of 2016 bring on the CRISPR front? It’s clear there will be more meetings on CRISPR ethics and policy (heck, we are having one right here at UC Davis on May 26), but what else is coming? Below are my top 10 CRISPR predictions for the new year in no particular order. What are your CRISPR predictions? For more on my thinking on CRISPR …Read More

2 min read

GOP members of Congress want a ban on CRISPR of human embryos. They are moving to block genetic modification of human embryos using the new CRISPR gene editing technology. The new proposed spending bill part way through the approval process with the nugget of good news of a possible NIH spending boost after many years of losing ground against inflation, reportedly also contains language to block gene editing of apparently any human embryos even just for research. Update: More recent interpretations of the bill …Read More