September 25, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

engineered baby

15 min read

I talked last year about human genetic modification by CRISPR with George Church a year ago. Now we’ve followed up with a long chat on this topic going into much more detail and with questions on recent developments. Each question is listed numerically and then there is a back and forth on that question with George and me before going on to the next question. Frameworks for managing human genetic modification 1. Paul: What do you think of my ABCD plan for handling human germline …Read More

3 min read

Over at Practical Ethics they are calling for an almost Spock-like, emotion-free, and logical approach to the topic of heritable human genetic modification. Sounds good in principle, right? Well, unfortunately it fails in execution in their essay. The authors of “Editing the germline – a time for reason, not emotion” seem to include Chris Gyngell, Tom Douglas, and Julian Savulescu. It is notable that this Practical Ethics piece itself has an unmistakable bias toward allowing human germline modification to proceed unfettered by what they view as …Read More

2 min read

Discussion of concerns over heritable human genetic modification has spiked in 2015. This dialogue is a good thing, but is it in a sense too late? Are genetically modified (GM) people a foregone conclusion? Rumors are swirling that upwards of four papers reporting production of GM human embryos are in various stages of review at high-profile journals, sparking a sense of urgency for some kind of steps to deal with this new reality. Could these papers report germline correction of the CTFR mutation in cystic fibrosis …Read More

6 min read

I recently interviewed leading genomics scientist George Church on the ways that trends in genomics are changing our world and the possibility of heritable human genetic modification. His answers suggest that genomics and gene editing are poised to radically change our world and to literally change us. Here’s the George Church interview you’ve all been waiting for. Do you think the public is already shifting to be more accepting of genomic information as simply another useful part of their overall health profile rather than as …Read More