August 9, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

He Jiankui

6 min read

Last year around this time I took my annual plunge to make 20 predictions for the coming year for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. I even made a crystal ball graphic to highlight the complexity of the stem cell ecosystem into which these predictions were embedded (see image) for 2019. How’d I do? Below I grade my 20 predictions for this year. You can in addition see my grading of my 2018 predictions here. In the next week or so I’ll also …Read More

2 min read

Here in the U.S. we just had our big Thanksgiving holiday, but science goes, stem cells keep growing and needing attention, and it’s another weekend chance to catch up on our paper reading. Here’s this weekend edition of recommended reads including news items and pubs. From Cell Stem Cell: Single-Cell Transcriptome Analysis of Uniparental Embryos Reveals Parent-of-Origin Effects on Human Preimplantation Development. and another there on stem cell machinery in cancer: Humanized Stem Cell Models of Pediatric Medulloblastoma Reveal an Oct4/mTOR Axis that Promotes Malignancy. …Read More

4 min read

A Russian Scientist named Denis Rebrikov told Nature and then other media including NPR last week that he plans to make CRISPR babies. In other words, babies with heritable genetic modifications. I don’t doubt that Rebrikov (pictured in ResearchGate image) might want to do this nor that he might try it, but rather I’m writing this post to point out how his statements including about why it’d supposedly be a good idea don’t withstand much scrutiny. What has Rebrikov said about his plan and …Read More

4 min read

Trying to make a CRISPR baby any time soon would be a really bad idea. How bad? Last December 3rd I penned a piece for STAT News arguing for a moratorium on the heritable use of CRISPR in humans. This potential future, radical application of “gene editing” is now often colloquially referred to as “CRISPR babies”. Read that piece for the reasons behind my thinking and the risks involved in leaving the door open to using CRISPR to make people. Of course, this was …Read More