May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

George Church

2 min read

It’s exciting that the reviews are starting to come in on my new book, GMO Sapiens, on human genetic modification including CRISPR. Here is one from The Scientist and the book was recommended by Scientific American. Reviews from individual authors and scientists are below. “GMO Sapiens could not be more timely. New technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing have great clinical potential, but they also bring us closer to a world in which future children can be pre-conceptively manipulated and customized to possess certain traits. A …Read More

2 min read

I try to catch up on my science reading over the weekends and evenings. Here’s my recommended weekend reading on stem cells & science. Did I miss anything especially cool? Let me know in the comments. Direct reprogramming of skin cells into insulin-producing cells. I love direct reprogramming. Healios and Athersys Enter Into Regenerative Medicine Partnership. Can they together create regen med success? National honor for helping “the blind see” comes from CIRM blog. Fun piece on CRISPR language by Ben Zimmer. ‘Crispr’ Breaks Out Of the Lab. …Read More

2 min read

The post-lunch session is “Applications of Gene Editing Technology: Human Germline Modification”. Prior to hearing it I’m curious how cautious or gung-ho the speakers will be, or if their gestalt will be one of balance in the middle somewhere. Robin Lovell-Badge, The Francis Crick Institute, was the moderator of this session. He said, “We’d be remiss in our duty if we didn’t discuss what was possible using human gene editing”, but “this doesn’t mean we think these should be done now” or that we …Read More

2 min read

After a seemingly endless period of review, the FDA has approved the genetically modified (GM) AquaBounty salmon for sale and consumption. Update: You might find my interview with George Church on CRISPR and gene modification interesting. I don’t see any particular reason to think that this GM fish as a food would pose any significant health risks to people. The fish’s hypothetical risk to the ecosystem is greatly reduced by restrictions on where it can be grown to areas away from natural waterways. Note …Read More

4 min read

In a strange, but fascinating tale recounted by Antonio Regalado in an article over at MIT Tech Review, we hear the first claim of a do-it-yourself (DIY) gene therapy. The owner of a small biotech called BioViva, Elizabeth “Liz” Parrish, reportedly traveled from her home in Seattle to get an unapproved, experimental gene therapy in another country. The article pointed to a Reddit AMA that Parrish recently did where she discussed these events in the context of her interest in anti-aging efforts. Regalado is fairly …Read More