August 13, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

human germline modification

4 min read

Hank Greely over at The Center for Law and Biosciences at Stanford Law School was one of the participants in the recent Napa meeting on approaches to human germline genetic modification. Hank was also one of the authors on the resulting position paper in Science with David Baltimore as first author (here). Now Hank, pictured below, has written an intriguing blog post that kind of gives a behind the scenes look at what has gone on in this area in the last few months and …Read More

3 min read

Should we be using the term ‘genetically modified human’ in discussions of heritable use of CRISPR in people? During the still ongoing discussions of genetic modification in the human germline and potentially in actual human beings in the future, an interesting, but difficult question has emerged: What words or names would be most appropriate for the community to use to refer to potential future human beings that have gene edits? I have up until now referred to such hypothetical people as “genetically modified humans” or …Read More

3 min read

CRISPR Cas9 gene editing technology is a game changer on many levels both inside and soon outside the lab. There is a growing sense of urgency amongst biomedical scientists to take a proactive approach to current and future use of CRISPR gene editing technology in human germ cells and embryos. These concerns have been heightened by rumors of multiple papers currently in various stages of peer review that will reportedly describe CRISPR-mediated gene editing of human embryos. A number of scientists and scientific organizations have recently come …Read More

2 min read

In a new perspectives piece in Science, Nobel Laureate David Baltimore and co-authors including Jennifer Doudna and George Church, chart a potential path forward for human germline engineering. See also accompanying Bioethics piece by Gretchen Vogel as well, “Embryo engineering alarm”. In the piece, entitled “A prudent path forward for genomic engineering and germline gene modification” calls for further discussion and assessment of key potential benefits and risks to moving forward with this technology. The illustration included here is from the piece. The piece …Read More