August 13, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

human germline modification

1 min read

Flying out of Portland Airport yesterday, I saw these magazines side by side: Trump and genetic modification of humans. Hmmm. That’s a humorous juxtaposition and the two covers are oddly similar in design. It go me thinking… Could using germline human genetic modification be a wise thing to do in some cases? After all, humanity in many ways has serious flaws. Could we try to make Homo sapiens a better species via, for instance, CRISPR’ing embryos for “better” traits and removing possibly negative traits? …Read More

2 min read

Earlier this week I posted an interview with Steven Pinker on CRISPR, human germline modification, and bioethics. With only a few exceptions, I strongly disagree with Pinker’s philosophy in these areas and I knew going into the interview that his answers would likely go against my own views. I also expected the interview would anger some people. That is exactly what happened and I heard from a few upset people, although most feedback was positive on having done the interview. Still, why give a …Read More

8 min read

The topic of heritable human genetic modification has been heating up recently. Prominent scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars have being weighing in, and there is a range of attitudes. Some favor a complete, moratorium including even lab work, while on the other end of the spectrum there are those who have a more liberal perspective. Many of us fall in the middle somewhere. I have been interested in having conversations with people with diverse views and posting them on this blog. You can see past …Read More

5 min read

Last Thursday I participated in a meeting at Stanford Law School on human germline genetic modification hosted by Hank Greely (pictured at left), Professor of Law and Genetics at Stanford. The meeting was entitled, “Human Germline Modification: Medicine, Science, Ethics, and Law”. The panel included in addition to Hank and me, the following speakers: Marcy Darnovsky, Executive Director of the Center for Genetics and Society (CGS); Christopher (Chris) Thomas Scott, Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and Lynn M. Westphal, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Stanford University Medical School. …Read More