human genetic modification

Levrier guest post on CRISPR Consensus Meeting – “we all must get involved in this debate”

Guillaume-Levrier

By Guillaume Levrier Human germline editing has been done before. It will be done again in the future, as it is relatively easy to perform. No mechanism with the de facto ability to prevent it from being organized has yet been designed, let alone implemented. But the fact that germline editing has, can, and will …

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Mixed messages on CRISPR babies from National Academies versus their experts: a look at new Science piece

National-Academy-CRISPR-Baby-article

Three national academy leaders have a new opinion piece in Science on what the community needs to do next regarding human germline editing now that we are most likely in the CRISPR babies era. Some of us have been wondering what the Academies and their empowered experts really think about this issue and what they …

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7 tech hurdles to human germline CRISPR

Human-crispr-challenges

Human germline CRISPR raises major bioethical considerations, but what about technical issues? Setting aside the many ethical issue about the general idea of human modification itself, could this really work? Yes in theory it could, but there are some very tough technological challenges that could and likely would cause failures or unacceptable outcomes at many steps …

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4 key reasons Mitalipov paper doesn’t herald safe CRISPR human genetic modification

CRISPR-dart-board

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. …

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CRISPR, human genetic modification, & a needed course correction

coverGMO-e1498086048321

Are designer babies made using CRISPR or other genetic modification technologies closer to reality today? If so, what exactly should we do about it? Researchers can use CRISPR to genetically modify just about any organism or its cells, but targeting humans is the subject of the most intense discussion including using CRISPR in the human germline …

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National Academies panel leaves door a crack open to future human genetic modification

Early-human-embryos

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. …

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First 3-person IVF baby born via “rogue” experiment at Mexico clinic?

John-Zhang-with-3-person-IVF-baby

Today we got the first report of a baby being born via so-called “3-person IVF”, sometimes called 3-parent IVF, in which the DNA of three people contribute to an offspring. Before discussing this further I have to emphasize that we need proof that this is indeed really a 3-person IVF baby via genetic testing. Until that …

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New Herbert lab Nature paper reinforces mitochondrial replacement Achilles heel

Herbert-mitochondria-Nature-paper

Today a new Nature paper from Dr. Mary Herbert’s group in the UK has found a key problem with mitochondrial replacement therapy that fits with data from others. The goal of preventing mitochondrial disease using various kinds of genome transfer technologies is a noble one, but mitochondrial replacement therapy has faced a number of technological …

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First anti-CRISPR political campaign is born in Europe

Stop-Baby-GM

Campaigns are underway in several European countries against the possible use of genetic modification in humans to make designer babies and one has a distinctly anti-CRISPR tone. For example, in France a group is pushing an anti-GM baby campaign and the same kind of thing is going on in Switzerland, which I blogged about recently. In …

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UK should freeze mitochondrial replacement as Egli paper ID’s serious problem

Egli-genetic-drift-paper

An important new Cell Stem Cell paper from Dieter Egli’s lab points to an inherent, serious problem with so-called 3-person IVF or mitochondrial replacement technology that warrants putting an immediate hold on all efforts to use it in humans. I have pasted the graphical abstract from the paper below. For years a few of us scientists and …

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