September 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

CRISPR off targets

2 min read

Sometimes it seems like a bunch of stuff in one area, like with CRISPR this week, happens all of a sudden in science. A bunch of fairly high-profile gene editing pubs came out. They generated a lot of news reports. Other news in this arena popped up too, all within a few days. In vivo CRISPR editing with no detectable genome-wide off-target mutations over at Nature. In this context “no” is a really strong statement. Does the data back it up? See Figure 1a from …Read More

4 min read

Some in CRISPR-Cas9-land who are focused on potential future clinical applications are kind of rejoicing or at least sighing a breath of relief. This upbeat swing in the atmosphere (from investors especially) was sparked by retraction of that paper, the one initially reporting tons of supposed off-target CRISPR-Cas9 activity in mice, which turned out to be a “nothing burger” according to one investment site. Off-target activity definitely still needs to be on people’s radar screens, but it’s a problem that’s not nearly so widespread as that paper incorrectly …Read More

5 min read

We can be confident that human genetic modification via CRISPR’ing of embryos soon will be safe and effective after that new exciting Mitalipov team paper, right? Wrong. The reality is far more complicated and interesting on the tech side. In a nutshell, I see the paper as a significant scientific, but not necessarily medical advance. The media coverage overall has painted too rosy and simplistic a picture of the Mitalipov paper. Setting aside tough bioethical and societal issues regarding human genetic modification for the …Read More