May 30, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

CRISPR PGD

6 min read

By Guillaume Levrier Human germline editing has been done before. It will be done again in the future, as it is relatively easy to perform. No mechanism with the de facto ability to prevent it from being organized has yet been designed, let alone implemented. But the fact that germline editing has, can, and will happen again does not deprive anyone of their right to have an opinion on this capacity. The CRISPR Consensus symposium (see video below) set up at the Innovative Genomics Institutes …Read More

7 min read

It’s germline, heritable human CRISPR time, right? Wrong. But the particularly enthusiastic supporters of heritable human CRISPR often cite hypothetical benefits in glowing terms, but either don’t mention risks or strongly downplay them. These fans also tend to leave alternative, proven and safe technologies such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) out of the discussion or only mention them as an afterthought. In reality, the vast majority of anything that CRISPR could hypothetically achieve heritably in human reproduction can be done better, more simply, and …Read More

8 min read

The debate over whether the main conclusions of the Nature paper on human embryo CRISPR led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s lab at Oregon Health Sciences University (OHSU) are correct remains unresolved. Note that Nature just added an editorial alert just above the references section to their paper: “Updated online 02 October 2017. Editorial Note: Readers are alerted that some of the conclusions of this paper are subject to critiques that are being considered by editors. Some of these critiques have been publicly deposited in preprint form. A further …Read More

4 min read

In the same way perhaps that some excited relatives or parents-to-be both gush and worry about a baby before it is even born, our field has been transfixed for a week by the Mitalipov paper on CRISPR’ing human embryos even though the paper just now came out. Now that the paper is out, we can take a closer look at this “baby” and for us scientists that involves giving it a critical review. In science, “critical” often means a thorough once over with a …Read More

4 min read

There is a big old blind spot in the discussion over germline gene editing in humans: preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). There’s been a lot of talk in 2015 about worries over how gene editing technology such as CRISPR might be used prematurely in the clinic in an unsafe or unethical manner in humans in the germline to try to prevent genetic disease. This is a very serious concern and I share it. However, in a way the dialogue on this usually misses a crucial, …Read More