August 13, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Hank Greely

5 min read

Some conditions like Huntington’s Disease are so bad and there are no treatments such that any bit of encouraging news can be cause for legitimate excitement, but at the same time things can go too far potentially, especially if there is news coverage not backed up by a published paper or some other definitive source of data. This kind of situation risks going from science over the line to hype. The splashy news a couple days ago that there may have been a “major …Read More

2 min read

A lot has been going on in the CRISPR world. Here are some key CRISPR updates. Editas has filed the paperwork on the road to going public as a company. Such an IPO, should it come to fruition, could raise billions of dollars. Will the other CRISPR companies like Caribou and CRISPR Therapeutics follow suit? Simplistically, it seems like the first CRISPR IPO could get the lion’s share of investor money, but then there’s the patent thing hanging over all of this (see below) Patent …Read More

2 min read

The US Congress recently held its first hearing on human germline genetic modification. The meeting included CRISPR-Cas9 pioneer Jennifer Doudna (see video here) on the panel. See image of Cas9 structure from Wikipedia. CRISPR-Cas9 is a powerful, strikingly efficient tool for genetic engineering of cells and whole organisms. Now Republican congressional leaders have included a provision in the current spending bill that would block editing of viable human embryos and could interfere with important research. Concern over a possible reactive move by Congress on …Read More

4 min read

Christopher Thomas Scott Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics Director, Program on Stem Cells in Society   A decade ago I wrote an article in the journal Nature Biotechnology about the rise of a new gene editing technology called zinc finger nucleases (ZNF). It was one of those “drumbeat” discoveries: at the time, my sense was it would revolutionize how we deliver genes to cells and tissues, and profoundly change the way we think about gene therapy. I was partially right. Although ZNFs are now …Read More