June 5, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

human gene editing

5 min read

We can be confident that human genetic modification via CRISPR’ing of embryos soon will be safe and effective after that new exciting Mitalipov team paper, right? Wrong. The reality is far more complicated and interesting on the tech side. In a nutshell, I see the paper as a significant scientific, but not necessarily medical advance. The media coverage overall has painted too rosy and simplistic a picture of the Mitalipov paper. Setting aside tough bioethical and societal issues regarding human genetic modification for the …Read More

3 min read

More CRISPR’d human embryos, but this time in America? MIT Tech Review is reporting that Oregon scientist Shoukhrat Mitalipov has used CRISPR on human embryos in his lab in the US. Apparently a paper is in the works on this. While details are sketchy and some specifics remain to be clarified to be sure of what’s the deal here, this Tech Review report appears generally accurate based on what I’ve heard so this appears to be the first reported use of CRISPR on human …Read More

3 min read

The first report of the use of CRISPR gene editing in normal human embryos was published today as a short paper from a team in China. There have been rumors for over a year that more CRISPR human embryo papers were coming including some using normal embryos. Here’s one and we can now expect more even as there remain scientific and ethical discussions about this kind of work. You can read the actual paper Tang, et al. here, published in the journal Molecular Genetics & Genomics. …Read More

3 min read

A National Academies panel on human genome editing chaired by Alta Charo and Richard Hynes released its report today. While it covered both somatic and germline (heritable) human genetic modification, the latter topic is far more contentious. You can see the National Academies summary of their report here. You can read the full report here. On germline genetic modification using technologies such as CRISPR, the authors of the report carefully discussed potential benefits and risks to the use of this technology. On my first brief …Read More

3 min read

Last year I heard from several sources that there somewhere between 3-5 unpublished manuscripts reporting the use of CRISPR gene targeting in human embryos being shopped around at various journals in addition to the one that had been published. Since that time we’ve seen a grand total of one additional paper reporting on CRISPR of human embryos. So what gives? Were the sources wrong? I don’t think so and I believe there are additional labs pursuing research on the use of CRISPR in human embryos. …Read More

13 min read

By Elliot Hosman Summary.  A campaign calling for a moratorium on using CRISPR in human embryos was launched by a prominent French organization fighting for narrow understandings of life and family. A recent campaign calling for a ban on “transgenic” human embryos was launched by one of France’s most prominent organizations fighting for “science”-backed “one-man-one-woman” families, and the exclusion of all other forms. Since March 24, more than 15,500 people in France have signed a Change.org petition started by Alliance VITA declaring (translated from …Read More