January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

gene editing

4 min read

Three national academy leaders have a new opinion piece in Science on what the community needs to do next regarding human germline editing now that we are most likely in the CRISPR babies era. Some of us have been wondering what the Academies and their empowered experts really think about this issue and what they are saying outside the public domain. Do some of them disagree with each other? There have been mixed messages. The new piece, entitled, Wake-up call from Hong Kong, gets a …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

4 min read

If it seems to you like dramatic cautionary tales about CRISPR accompanied by all sorts of media are coming at us more frequently, it’s not your imagination. In the latest yesterday, it was reported in a new paper led by Allan Bradley that CRISPR-Cas9 results in sometimes large-scale chromosomal lesions at or even away from the target locus. The media have really sunk their teeth into this one, just as in past situations where CRISPR has reportedly encountered anything from bumps in the road to …Read More

3 min read

By Anna Everette “In our society, we have an addiction to vertical genetic transmission. It’s called sex and having a child who looks like you”. This was perhaps the most memorable quote from the event’s keynote speaker, Greg Simon, Director of the Biden Cancer Initiative. It also happens to highlight the most compelling reason to pursue this exciting technology. CRISPRcon took place on August 16-17 at the UC Berkeley and was meant to encourage communication about the range of ethical and social implications surrounding …Read More

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The gene editing technology CRISPR has been arguably the top story in the biomedical world in the last two years, but going forward there is a CRISPR challenger in upstart gene editing technology NgAgo. For more background on NgAgo and the key first published paper on its genetic modification characteristics see my post here.  In the comments on that post and in discussions I’ve had with other researchers, some key points have crystalized on NgAgo versus CRISPR at this time. As a possible CRISPR challenger, how does NgAgo fare? …Read More

3 min read

Why is CRISPR Cas9 gene editing such a big deal? Imagine being able to make mutations in any gene you wanted say in stem cells in a relatively simple, quick and affordable fashion? Sounds exciting, huh? Every so often a new kind of technology comes along in the biomedical sciences that is a true game changer. I’m talking about revolutionary technologies. Think ES cells and knockout mice, PCR, and iPS cells. Many of the biomedical scientists I know are raving about a relatively new technology …Read More