September 25, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

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