June 1, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Harmit Malik

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

Google is reportedly getting into the genetic modification business. It plans to use a sexy, new genetic technology called “gene drive”, which has both excited and unsettled scientists due to its great power to make GMOs in nature via reproductive chain reactions. This move toward genetic modification is part of a larger trend of Google and now its parent company Alphabet branching out into biology. Alphabet has said that “G is for Google”, but there could be the letters “G-M-O” in there too. I’m not saying …Read More

4 min read

Gene drive is a powerful, emerging genetic technology that can force genetic modification into an entire population. For more background on gene drive you can read my previous post. It’s a very exciting, but potentially dangerous technology with sizable possible risks. Recently I had an intriguing conversation with leading geneticist Harmit Malik on gene drive. What makes nuclease-driven gene drive so exciting for genetics? HM: It is very attractive because of its power, speed, and simplicity for genetic studies. As you know from your mouse …Read More

4 min read

Scientists studying genetics are both excited and worried about a powerful, new technology called “gene drive“. Some have been raising serious concerns about gene drive and in certain cases calling for proactive regulation, which is unusual in science. This method is so powerful because it is designed to induce genetic changes in an entire population in a relatively extremely short period of time compared to natural evolution and is self-propagating. The most talked about form today is a type powered by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing …Read More