November 23, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

designer baby

6 min read

Are designer babies made using CRISPR or other genetic modification technologies closer to reality today? If so, what exactly should we do about it? Researchers can use CRISPR to genetically modify just about any organism or its cells, but targeting humans is the subject of the most intense discussion including using CRISPR in the human germline for heritable “editing” or genetic modification of humans. This could in theory be done via human embryos or human germ cells with mostly existing technology. CRISPR studies on healthy human …Read More

3 min read

There’s a questionable notion floating around out there in the numerous discussions over heritable human genetic modification. This idea goes that if germline human gene editing goes awry for any number of reasons, scientists could simply reverse it by applying genetics again. The reversal notion does not fit with the reality of science as we know them today and could be harmful in giving false reassurance of the safety of genome modification. To put it another way, you can’t retract a designer baby or …Read More

2 min read

My new book GMO Sapiens just recently came out. You can see a few reviews of it here and you can order it here. It’s an approachable, quick read on the unsettling, but exciting topic of using CRISPR gene editing technology to make a new kind of people. Here’s an excerpt from the book (publisher: World Scientific Publishing Company), where I’m discussing the possibility that human genetic modification via CRISPR could become popular and an unstoppable trend: The reality is that we just do not …Read More

1 min read

What’s it like to give a TED talk and could there be designer babies in your future as a parent? On Halloween I gave a TEDxVienna talk (click above) on giving consideration to the possibility that we may be headed toward a new reality in the next 15 years in which there are designer babies. What would that mean for society? Could a new eugenics be gaining ground? How would a world with designer babies impact us all individually? How do we promote the …Read More