October 24, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

human genetic modification

6 min read

I recently interviewed leading genomics scientist George Church on the ways that trends in genomics are changing our world and the possibility of heritable human genetic modification. His answers suggest that genomics and gene editing are poised to radically change our world and to literally change us. Here’s the George Church interview you’ve all been waiting for. Do you think the public is already shifting to be more accepting of genomic information as simply another useful part of their overall health profile rather than as …Read More

2 min read

With the House of Lords vote yesterday, the UK officially became the only country in the world to have legalized human genetic modification via 3-Person IVF. The point of this “mitochondrial transfer” or “3-person IVF” technology is not directly to genetically modify humans specifically, but it still will lead to that result in any case. The noble goal of this experiment is to prevent mitochondrial disease, but it is not quite that simple as the children produced (if any healthy children are produced) would …Read More

4 min read

It’s been somewhat of a helter-skelter time for the new technology often referred to as 3-person IVF or mitochondrial transfer as the UK considers whether to legalize this experimental technology for use in humans. I believe that this technology is not ready now for use in humans and for more background on why as well as other opinions you can see articles here. The admirable goal of this experimental 3-person IVF approach is to prevent transmission of mitochondrial diseases from mother to child, but …Read More

5 min read

Dear UK Parliament and Science and Technology Committee, I am writing to you about your deliberations on “mitochondrial donation” (also known as 3-parent technology) intended for the purpose of preventing heritable mitochondrial disorders. I am concerned about the Department of Health’s recent draft regulations that would allow 3-parent experiments to go forward and the possibility that the UK Parliament may vote to allow it. This experimental technology has a noble goal, but in my opinion there are too many unanswered questions and risks that remain to allow …Read More