May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

human genetic modification

4 min read

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 data is released publicly we should all be cautious on this news. Apparently the clinic plans to present such data later. Assuming it is a 3-person IVF baby, which …Read More

3 min read

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 challenges including perhaps most prominently the carryover and subsequent amplification of diseased mitochondria. This mitochondrial replacement carryover issue was clearly defined in an excellent recent Cell Stem Cell paper …Read More

2 min read

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 Switzerland it appears the campaign is targeting legislation related to preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) so it seems that campaign is using the possibility of designer babies (pretty much a …Read More

5 min read

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 policy groups have argued strongly that this experimental technology is far too risky to try in humans for reproductive efforts in the near future. There were simply not enough …Read More

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