August 7, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Jennifer A. Doudna

7 min read

Today’s post is a review of Unnatural Selection, the new Netflix science docuseries focused on CRISPR and other disruptive genetic and reproductive technologies. The show is an interesting mix of personalities and stories from patients, scientists, biohackers, and more. One patient thread is the story of a wonderful little boy named Jackson Kennedy. He wants to be an astronaut. He also happens to have the random misfortune of two mutant copies of a gene that together are causing him to lose his vision. Unnatural …Read More

6 min read

Are designer babies made using CRISPR or other genetic modification technologies closer to reality today? If so, what exactly should we do about it? Researchers can use CRISPR to genetically modify just about any organism or its cells, but targeting humans is the subject of the most intense discussion including using CRISPR in the human germline for heritable “editing” or genetic modification of humans. This could in theory be done via human embryos or human germ cells with mostly existing technology. CRISPR studies on healthy human …Read More

3 min read

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

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