May 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

human GMO

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

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

3 min read

One of the hottest topics in the biomedical world in 2015 is heritable human genetic modification. There is an unsettling sense that genetically modified human germ cells and eventually GMO human beings are likely coming even if science and society are not ready for it. There are a hodgepodge of laws against human germline genetic modification, but it’s not clear that these regulations can realistically stop it from happening everywhere and they often do not apply to making GMO human germ cells. In a commentary piece …Read More

2 min read

On Monday, I’ll be doing another Reddit AMA, this time on 3-person IVF also known as 3-parent IVF, mitochondrial transfer, 3-parent babies, etc. You can see the upcoming AMAs including mine listed in the right sidebar here. Mine will start at 10AM PST/1PM EST. I hope to discuss with a wide audience all the key issues surrounding this exciting, but highly controversial technology just legalized in the UK. I will answer as many questions as possible. Here’s what the AMA intro will say: Science …Read More

2 min read

With the House of Lords vote yesterday, the UK officially became the only country in the world to have legalized human genetic modification. The point of this “mitochondrial transfer” or “3-person IVF” technology is not directly to genetically modify humans specifically, but it still will lead to that result in any case. The noble goal of this experiment is to prevent mitochondrial disease, but it is not quite that simple as the children produced (if any healthy children are produced) would have genomic elements …Read More

2 min read

The UK Parliament just voted to legalize the production of genetically modified human beings. To my knowledge, this is the first time in history that such a vote has given the green light to make GMO human beings in any country of the world. There are other hurdles before this method can actually be used including the UK House of Lords must vote in favor as well and there are regulatory issues to iron out, but human GMOs are one big step closer to reality. The …Read More