The Summit on Human Gene Editing got off to a great start yesterday. I have four posts summarizing all the talks and my impressions on the points made (here, here, here, and here). What was the overall gestalt including from talking to people informally? What were the big takeaway messages so far from Day 1? Diverse views. There are widely variant views on human genetic modification amongst the speakers. These range from “hell no” to “yes, now” and everything in between. So far that diversity of …Read More
This is blog post #1 from Day 1 of the National Academy of Sciences meeting on Human Gene editing. Some of the post may be written on the fly given the quick timeline of the meeting. Updates will sometimes be added to existing posts. See the subsequent three posts on the rest of the day here, here, and here. Here is the agenda for each of the three days including today. The meeting was kicked off with an introduction by David Baltimore and words from …Read More
Please take our new poll. Would you have a genetically modified baby? There are a lot of issues and even feelings to factor into this question Please tell us in the comments why you voted the way you did.
I’ve written a new book on human genetic modification. This is my second book as the first one was Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide, which is currently the top stem cell book on Amazon. The new book is called GMO Sapiens: The Life-Changing Science of Designer Babies. You can pre-order it here at Amazon or over here at my publisher’s site. The newly updated cover is shown at right. The title was chosen as a portmanteau (mashup) of GMO and Homo sapiens. We’ve been aiming for the book to come out in …Read More
Nature recently published a thorough, insightful piece on the major risks that would come with the use of so-called 3-person IVF (aka mitochondrial transfer or 3-parent baby method). In the UK 3-person IVF has, as of earlier this year, the government’s blessing to proceed despite the many serious unresolved risks that Nature‘s own piece so nicely outlines. Some scientists including myself have spoken out publicly about these risks, which include potentially disastrous developmental problems for the children produced via this method. However, others including a panel …Read More
Who will be speaking at the upcoming National Academy of Sciences (NAS) meeting on human gene editing? So far we haven’t known, but now we do (if you are eager to find out, skip to bottom of the post). The organizers of the meeting can be found here. Keep in mind that it is probable that some of these organizers, even if not listed below at the bottom of this post, will be present as well. The meeting starts two months from today on December …Read More
Is sex a form of genetic modification? A fairly common argument out there is that human decisions about mates and then their actual sexual reproduction are forms of human genetic modification. Sex is also sometimes equated with genetic modification of organisms by a few scientists. What do you think? Are these things equivalent? Similar? Not so much? Take our poll.
UK biologist Kathy Niakan has asked governmental permission to make GM human embryos using CRISPR. Earlier this year, a research team in China crossed a scientific line for the first time in history by using gene editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9 to make genetically modified (GM) human embryos. Other researchers around the world including now one in the UK according to Reuters have expressed interest in creating GM human embryos too as a means to learn more about early human development. In many countries around …Read More
The US National Academy of Sciences (NAS) will hold a meeting on heritable human germline modification on December 1-3, 2015 in Washington, D.C. Invitations to the NAS meeting to individuals starting going out last week. The upcoming NAS meeting seeks to address these issues and discuss the possibility of a moratorium on clinical use of genetic modification technology. It could play a crucial role in shaping both national and global policy on human genetic modification. The meeting was sparked in part by rising concerns …Read More
It’s a shame that National Geographic (NatGeo) has become part of a corporate empire that is not always consistent, to put it nicely, with data-based reality. Can NatGeo maintain its credibility and impact, when it is owned by a climate change denier (quoted for example as dissing folks as “extreme greenies”) who also has other very non-scientific priorities? There’s been an increasing amount of discussion of the technology that could produce GM humans. This dialogue includes the new Hinxton Statement (my take on that here) and …Read More