January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

CRISPR

5 min read

As a pivotal advance in the gene-editing field and timeline, CRISPR continues to be utilized for research on stem cells and human diseases. Today, I will explain some of the most notable recent findings in the stem cell-CRISPR field. To start things off, I have also created an infographic that briefly explains what CRISPR-Cas9 is, what stem cells are, and how they both can be used together to analyze human disease through genetics and potentially treat some specific diseases in the future. You may …Read More

2 min read

There’s never enough time to get all of one’s science reading done, but we can try! It helps to have a list of “to-read” articles, whether actual research articles or media pieces. In the old days, I remember my mentors saying they literally had “piles” of journal articles on their coffee tables, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. that they needed to read. Here are some past recommended reads. What would be the digital piles of science articles to try to dig into this week? Here are …Read More

7 min read

Making a CRISPR baby is a controversial idea to even propose now for many reasons, yet even after He Jiankui’s train wreck some people have seemed eager to try it including apparently a scientist whose name perhaps many readers here are not so familiar with in this context: Professor Hui Yang. ‘CRISPR baby guys’ Is it really a good time to be pushing CRISPR babies? The original “CRISPR baby guy” He Jiankui was recently sentenced to three years in prison for a variety of actions …Read More

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

4 min read

Back in 2013, a half dozen years ago, I went out on a limb and made predictions for the stem cell field for 2020. These are different than my yearly predictions for the coming year (for instance, you can see my predictions made in 2018 for this year of 2019 here). As to my 2013 predictions, of course, it’s only 2019 and not yet 2020, but how are my old predictions looking at this point? I can’t be sure how they’ll look next year …Read More

2 min read

Every now and then I collect a bunch of recent science good news that I’ve come across. Here are some past ‘good news’ posts. Today’s post includes such a recent collection and some funny stuff too at the end. Enjoy! BTW, science is not necessarily all about stem cells, right? Talk about good news. 1,000th Condor chick born! The hard-won comeback of the California condor More hope on new ways to battle HIV. Simpler HIV treatment and prevention strategies take center stage Humming  brain? …Read More

2 min read

Every so often here on The Niche I list science and news articles worth a look as “weekend reads”. Below is my list for this weekend. Enjoy! The first article doesn’t really fit into the other main categories, but the title “herding brains” caught my eye. Stem Cells Stem cells and regenerative capacity in aging brain, article in Cell. Quiescence Modulates Stem Cell Maintenance and Regenerative Capacity in the Aging Brain. Does this kind of research have relevance to humans? See interesting, complex graphical abstract …Read More

5 min read

What happens next to He Jiankui (贺建奎) or as some people now refer to him, the “CRISPR baby guy”? China has a challenging situation to resolve here, but such conflicts between scientists and governments have happened regularly in history. When scientists go “rogue” (i.e. don’t conform to norms or ethical standards in an extreme way or potentially break laws), governments are often unsure what to do. Also, who decides what’s “rogue”? Where is the line between positive transformative science and something that is really wrong? …Read More

3 min read

When I say “gene edit” or “genome editing”, what’s the first thing that pops in your mind? It will depend on who you are. For many lay people until a few weeks ago when the world heard about He Jiankui‘s claim of CRISPR’d babies they may not have had anything pop in their heads when hearing “gene editing.” Now perhaps they think of babies bearing specific genetic changes. I bet most of them who think that way today are envisioning that He made very …Read More

4 min read

Did Chinese researcher He Jiankui really CRISPR gene edit the CCR5 gene in two embryos producing twin baby girls? In my opinion the answer is “no”, but probably not for the reason you might think at first. He proclaims gene edits He claimed he had made twin baby girls with “gene edits”, which I feel is unethical overall and risky to those babies. He’s announcement also may have been intentionally timed to occur right before an international meeting on human gene (or genome) editing last week …Read More