July 10, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Jennifer Doudna

4 min read

Trying to make a CRISPR baby any time soon would be a really bad idea. How bad? Last December 3rd I penned a piece for STAT News arguing for a moratorium on the heritable use of CRISPR in humans. This potential future, radical application of “gene editing” is now often colloquially referred to as “CRISPR babies”. Read that piece for the reasons behind my thinking and the risks involved in leaving the door open to using CRISPR to make people. Of course, this was …Read More

2 min read

Sometimes it seems like a bunch of stuff in one area, like with CRISPR this week, happens all of a sudden in science. A bunch of fairly high-profile gene editing pubs came out. They generated a lot of news reports. Other news in this arena popped up too, all within a few days. In vivo CRISPR editing with no detectable genome-wide off-target mutations over at Nature. In this context “no” is a really strong statement. Does the data back it up? See Figure 1a from …Read More

4 min read

Some months back a USPTO court issued a ruling that most interpreted as meaning the Broad Institute had won the so-called ‘CRISPR patent battle’ in the U.S. and that UC Berkeley, Jennifer Doudna, and Emmanuelle Charpentier had lost. Now this week Berkeley has appealed that ruling. It seems the odds are against Berkeley prevailing in its appeal, but frankly Berkeley deserves the main CRISPR patent and Broad doesn’t. Interestingly, the European Patent Office apparently agrees with this view and disagrees with the USPTO. Update: note that the Berkeley patent …Read More

2 min read

Eric Lander’s recent piece in Cell on The Heroes of CRISPR has sparked strong reactions that are mostly critical and have argued that the article is biased. I’m going to weigh in with my own thoughts at some point later, but I thought it would be interesting to try a word cloud-based text mining of the Lander piece. See above. Word clouds indicate which words are used the most by the relative size of the letters of the words. Common words such as “the”, “experiment”, etc. are filtered …Read More