Robin Lovell-Badge

Perspectives on CRISPR baby guy He Jiankui (贺建奎) going to jail

Jiankui-He-who-claims-CRISPR-baby-production

Scientist He Jiankui(贺建奎) has been sentenced to 3 years in prison by Chinese authorities. Two collaborators also will go to jail. A piece in Science by Dennis Normile on the sentencing of He Jiankui ID’d the other two: “His collaborators were identified as Zhang Renli, of a medical institution in Guangdong province, and Qin Jinzhou, from a Shenzhen …

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CRISPR baby moratorium grows likely with rising tide of support including from biotech

CRISPR-gene-edit-vs-mutation-1

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 …

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Counterpoints to Lovell-Badge & Daley’s CRISPR baby rationales

CRISPR-baby

Two prominent scientists, Robin Lovell-Badge and George Daley, have been amongst the most outspoken proponents of leaving the door open to heritable human genetic modification via CRISPR. While they each have articulated their reasons in somewhat different ways at times, their core reasons arguing in favor of future heritable CRISPR appear largely the same. In …

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7 tech hurdles to human germline CRISPR

Human-crispr-challenges

Human germline CRISPR raises major bioethical considerations, but what about technical issues? Setting aside the many ethical issue about the general idea of human modification itself, could this really work? Yes in theory it could, but there are some very tough technological challenges that could and likely would cause failures or unacceptable outcomes at many steps …

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Artificial embryo tech reported in Science: how big is this?

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Can you make an artificial embryo? Developmental biologist Magdalena Zernicka-Goetz has long been on the trail of this seemingly almost uncatchable quarry. With her team’s publication in Science today they took a big step forward on this path even if some major hurdles remain. You can see her discussion of the research in the YouTube video …

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CRISPR embryo OK signals ongoing liberal UK trend on human modification

Kathy-Niakan

With the approval today of the use of CRISPR in human embryos, the UK continues its recent trend toward a more permissive regulatory policy on human genetic modification. There are both risks and scientific benefits that come along with this trend. Last year the UK approved an experimental technology with the goal of preventing the …

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NAS Meeting on Human Germline Modification Taking Shape

NAS-CRISPR3

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 …

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Are babies from same-sex couples possible?

IPS-cell-cloning

A question that has come up with advances in stem cell technology: could same-sex couples have their own biological children? Since Shinya Yamanaka reprogrammed first mouse and then human ordinary cells into powerful pluripotent stem cells, termed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, back in 2006-2007 many new research avenues have opened up. The impossible suddenly …

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Big push for 3-parent IVF technology in UK

3-person-technology-letter

A new piece came out yesterday on the Wellcome Trust Blog, strongly promoting approval of so-called “3-Parent IVF” or Mitochondrial Transfer technology by the UK Parliament. As I written in the past (here and here), my view is that this would be a mistake at this time. There is room for respectful disagreement on this issue between scientists, …

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Response from Drs. Braude & Lovell-Badge to My Letter on Mitochondrial Transfer/3-Parent Technology

3-parent-baby

The following is a response to my Open Letter to the UK Parliament on mitochondrial transfer/3-parent technology from Drs. Peter Braude and Robin Lovell-Badge. Dear Professor Knoepfler, We read your open letter to the UK Parliament and the Science and Technology Committee with interest and concern. We are two scientists, like you, with particular interests …

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