January 17, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

human genetic modification

23 min read

Editor’s note. Caroline Simons attended both the April 28th (see her report on that here) and 29th Paris meetings on human gene editing/genetic modification. Today, we have her in depth report on the April 29th meeting. I have posted her piece in full with only minor edits. If you are in a rush you can skip to the last page for Caroline’s top 10 takeaways from the meeting. By Caroline Simons The meeting of NAS and NAM which took place in Paris on 29 …Read More

7 min read

Editors note: This is a guest post from Caroline Simons who is attending the two Paris meetings on human gene editing. For more background on those meetings see here. By Caroline Simons There were just over a hundred participants at the workshop organized by the Federation of European Academies of Medicine, the UK Academy of Medical Sciences and the Académie Nationale de Médicine France. That number included experts in the fields of science, medicine, law and bioethics. They came from Europe, the US and …Read More

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

A new paper was recently published on CRISPR of human embryos for genetic modification. I’ve got to read this publication more carefully, but here’s a quick initial take on this human CRISPR 2.0 study. The paper is Kang, et al. and is entitled “Introducing precise genetic modifications into human 3PN embryos by CRISPR/Cas-mediated genome editing”. This is only the second paper reporting genetic modification of human embryos. The first paper, also from China, created quite a stir last year and reported a lot of technical …Read More

2 min read

I like Easter eggs, science and writing, and Easter is less than a week away. I also think that games and puzzles as well as contests where there are prizes are fun. In this spirit I’ve hidden a scientific Easter egg inside of my new book, GMO Sapiens. If you are the first to find it and notify me, I will give you a $250 prize. We are talking about a scientific Easter egg. Wikipedia defines this sort of Easter egg this way: “An Easter egg is …Read More

4 min read

What were the top 10 stem cell stories of the year? What were the biggest news and science headlines in the stem cell field in 2015, whether good or bad? Below are mine. What are your top 10 stem cell stories of the past year? Let us know in the comments. Organoids explode. Stem cell-based mini-organs (organoids) have exploded in terms of impact in the last couple years. 2015 had many examples of these super cool human organs in a dish made from stem …Read More

2 min read

Both before and particularly now after the big human gene editing summit in Washington, D.C. at the National Academy of Sciences, I’ve talked with patients about their views on this new technology including at last week’s World Stem Cell Summit. One of the most striking moments of the DC summit was when the mother of a pediatric patient made the comment after a talk about human gene editing that if it could be helpful with genetic diseases, “just freakin do it!” A lot of …Read More

5 min read

I just got back from a historic summit on human genetic modification in Washington, D.C. New genetic modification technology, termed CRISPR-Cas9, has both made genetic modification a relatively simple matter for scientists and human genetic modification much more likely in the near future. Heritable human genetic modification could prevent some rare genetic diseases so there is real potential there, but it also could open the door to serious problems such as unforeseen health consequences across generations, social justice issues, and eugenics. Both potential positives …Read More