November 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

transhumanism

15 min read

I talked last year about human genetic modification by CRISPR with George Church a year ago. Now we’ve followed up with a long chat on this topic going into much more detail and with questions on recent developments. Each question is listed numerically and then there is a back and forth on that question with George and me before going on to the next question. Frameworks for managing human genetic modification 1. Paul: What do you think of my ABCD plan for handling human germline …Read More

1 min read

A few weeks ago I spent a bit of time in Vienna participating in TEDxVienna. You can see two previous posts on my experience here and here. My own video is not up yet on TED, but a few have popped up so far here. One of my favorites is the talk “What if we could become transhumans?” by Oskar Aszmann. See above. My own talk also touched briefly on transhumanism but from the very different angle of genetics, eugenics, and human genetic modification. …Read More

4 min read

In a strange, but fascinating tale recounted by Antonio Regalado in an article over at MIT Tech Review, we hear the first claim of a do-it-yourself (DIY) gene therapy. The owner of a small biotech called BioViva, Elizabeth “Liz” Parrish, reportedly traveled from her home in Seattle to get an unapproved, experimental gene therapy in another country. The article pointed to a Reddit AMA that Parrish recently did where she discussed these events in the context of her interest in anti-aging efforts. Regalado is fairly …Read More

13 min read

CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology is red-hot right now and I’ve been doing interviews with various thought leaders on it, which today includes Steven Pinker. This technology has great power for research in the lab and there are hypothetical transformative clinical applications of CRISPR too. The latter efforts could include experimental attempts at reversal of disease-causing mutations in one-cell embryos with the hope that they then grow into full-fledged, healthy human beings. Hypothetically CRISPR could also be used for pursuing human enhancement via germline genetic …Read More