Heritable Human Genome Editing? It May Never Be Safe
By Katie Hasson,
| 12. 04. 2020
The “CRISPR babies” announced in headlines around the world recently turned two years old, and we still know nothing about their health or wellbeing. Debates continue about whether the societal risks of heritable genome editing are too great to proceed, as do calls for broadly inclusive public participation in such deliberations. In the meantime, we’ve been learning a lot about what can go wrong when using CRISPR to edit human embryos.
In October, the journal Cell published an article describing significant damage to human embryos edited with CRISPR. The experiments conducted in Dieter Egli’s lab at Columbia University found unintended rearrangements or deletions of large stretches of DNA at and around the targeted site. In some cases, the deletions were so large that an entire chromosome was lost. As one headline plainly put it: “In Embryos, Crispr Can Cut Out Whole Chromosomes—That’s Bad”.
The Cell article is the published version of a pre-print paper that, along with two others from Kathy Niakan’s and Shoukrat Mitalipov’s labs, received significant attention in June. At that time, Heidi Ledford... see more
"Human Egg" by euthman is licensed under CC BY 2.0.
In late April, the National Academies held a three-day workshop on In Vitro Derived Human Gametes as a Reproductive Technology
. Experts from a broad range of fields commented on the fast-developing science, its potential applications in assisted reproduction, and its social implications. Despite a focus on the significant technical challenges that remain in developing these techniques and the notable inclusion of several critical voices, the overall...
By Ian Sample, The Guardian | 05.09.2023
The first UK baby created with DNA from three people has been born after doctors performed a groundbreaking IVF procedure that aims to prevent children from inheriting incurable diseases.
The technique, known as mitochondrial donation treatment (MDT), uses tissue from...
By Carolyn Y. Johnson, The Washington Post | 04.28.2023
DACULA, Ga. — For as long as he can remember, Jimi Olaghere felt he was destined to be a father. “It’s so true in my soul,” he told his wife, Amanda, when they struggled to get pregnant. But when they...
By Kristine Thomason, Women's Health | 04.27.2023
At 22, Arianna W. was certain she wanted to freeze her eggs—one day.
It was 2016, and she was interning at Boston IVF Fertility Clinic, witnessing firsthand the spectrum of ways people were creating families. As a queer woman with...