January 19, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

CRISPR poll

1 min read

Heritable CRISPR to be tried in humans sooner or later…or never? Will someone somewhere in the world try to use CRISPR gene editing or related technology to introduce heritable genetic changes into actual human beings in the next decade? I’m not talking about gene editing viable human embryos just for research which is already ongoing, but rather CRISPR’ing human embryos to then use to try to make babies who grow up to be adult humans with a specific genetic change. How likely is this? Take …Read More

2 min read

Day 2 of the Human Gene Editing Summit in DC (#GeneEditSummit) was quite interesting and added more depth to the meeting overall. For specific talks, see my two posts from yesterday here and here. Also see my top takeaways from Day 1. What were the top highlights of Day 2 of #GeneEditSummit? Somatic work. We shouldn’t only focus on germline human genetic modifications even if that is the most explosive issue. Yesterday we heard about striking developments in the arena of somatic/adult gene editing …Read More

1 min read

A few weeks back I started a poll focusing on whether people would have a designer baby if they could. With nearly 200 responses so far, the results are very mixed (see image). One conclusion from this I think is that we need more information on possible risks versus benefits. Another element here is that the poll, as one commenter pointed out, did not divide between health-related and enhancement motivations behind having the designer baby. I may do a future poll including that divide. …Read More

2 min read

Many of us scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars are working on educational outreach to the public on the potential use of gene editing technologies like CRISPR to genetically modify human beings, but clearly there’s a long way to go and much more to do on this front. By the way, you may find this new 2020 post we’ve done on the intersection of CRISPR gene editing and stem cells to be a useful read. The future use of CRISPR to edit the human genome in a …Read More