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12/04/2018 - 4:23am

By Mark McQuain November 2018 will go down as one of the most pivotal points in human history. Jon Holmlund covered the facts in his last blog entry. Regardless of what you think about the ethics of He Jiankui’s recent use of CRISPR to alter the human genomes of IVF embryos and his decision to …

Continue reading "The Genetic Singularity Point has Arrived"

12/04/2018 - 3:00am
Join me at Emory University on March 22-23, 2019 for Georgia's Healthcare Ethics Consortium 2019 Annual Conference: Deeply Rooted: Healthcare Ethics in an Era of Change.
12/04/2018 - 3:00am

Join me at Emory University on March 22-23, 2019 for Georgia's Healthcare Ethics Consortium 2019 Annual Conference: Deeply Rooted: Healthcare Ethics in an Era of Change.

12/12/2018 - 11:04pm
Vidéo en collaboration avec Nicolas Gindrier, doctorant en mathématiques appliquées au service de la médecine, Lê Nguyen Hôang de la chaine Youtube Science4All, et le Dr Arnaud Attye, neuro-radiologe.
12/03/2018 - 2:51pm

By Neil Skjoldal With the death of President George H. W. Bush this past weekend, the country seems united in eulogizing him for, among other things,  having lived “a well-lived life,” because amidst his accomplishments, he was able to reach 94 years of age.  This brought to mind a recent article published in The NY …

Continue reading "Approaching Immortality?"

12/03/2018 - 2:27pm

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

Jump to Public Lectures; Jump to The Good Doctor (Season 2; Episode 9): Empathy-Sex offenders and prisoners

The Resident (Season 2; Episode 9): Oral directives and “the talk

When Hawkins’ father (Winthrop) collapses, he is brought to Chastain (the hospital he owns) even though he asks to be taken somewhere else. He has a stricture that is affecting blood flow to his intestine that could become life threatening. In his consent process, he says anyone but Bell can do the surgery; his doctors go over the risks and benefits to surgery.  …

12/03/2018 - 10:00am

Watching David Baltimore open the #GeneEdit Summit last week brought back a memory of the last time I saw the Nobel laureate in such a role. The 2015 #GeneEditSummit concluded with a Q&A about the summit’s statement — which many considered was a moratorium on gene editing of embryos.

An audience member, with a sense of the promise of the science but concern for buy-in from a distrustful public, asked whether the statement might be translated into clearer language for those hard-pressed to understand CRISPR even with the acronym spelled out for them. To which Baltimore replied: “You mean it isn’t?”

That exchange convinced me that even gene editors need an editor. Especially gene editors. Indeed, if He Jiankui read that 2015 moratorium before he altered his own future in unintended ways, he did not see it as a red light.

In a tweet, director Francis Collins (@NIHdirector) clarified that the National Institutes of Health considers the light red: “The work of Dr. He Jiankui presented at #GeneEditSummit is profoundly disturbing & tramples on ethical norms. We need to develop binding international consensus on limits for this research. #NIH does not support the use of gene-editing in human embryos.”

International reaction to He’s revelation of gene-edited babies and ethical disregard has been intense and often as confusing as clarifying. How to balance “irresponsible” (Baltimore), “disturbing” and “risky” (CRISPR pioneers Jennifer Doudna and Feng Zhang) with this tweet from Antonio Regalado, a reporter for MIT Technology Review, “[H]oly cow Harvard Medical School dean George Daley is making the case, big time, and eloquently, FOR editing embryos, at #geneeditsummit he is says technically we are ‘ready’ for RESPONSIBLE clinic use.”

Who, I wonder, is we?

What follows is something of a select Twitterature review concerning #GeneEditedBabies from the extended scientific and bioethics community — notable to me, in part, for minimal concern expressed for damage to public trust, and the fact that He Jiankiu manipulated the DNA of babies —  but isn’t even a medical doctor.

One Twitter thread was especially clarifying.

Sean Ryder, professor at UMass Medical School (@RyderLab), deserves some sort of award for making the science behind the controversy as accessible as it could be. “This is what really bothers me,” Ryder tweeted. “The children are test subjects for protein variants that haven’t been vetted in animals. Any of the variants could have unintended consequences.” The rest of the thread is well worth reading.

Consequences also were prominent in a dialogue begun by biomedical scientist Paul Knoepfler of UC Davis (@pkoepfler), who took to Twitter with his own confusion: “These 2 images from the #CRISPR baby talk seem to say the exact opposite things about their genotypes.”

Australian geneticist Gaetan Burgio (@GaetanBurgio) responded, and their ensuing dialogue gets at why many feel this science is moving forward too quickly and irresponsibly — mosaic cells that present a major safety hurdle.

Said Burgio: “If you watch Kathy Niakan’s (@theCrick) presentation yesterday at the #GeneEditingSummit mosaicism is even worse than you would think.” (In that presentation, Niakan called He’s work “highly irresponsible, unethical and dangerous.” )

@AndyBiotech noted: “Pretty crazy that Kathy Niakan just showed us some scary ‘on-target complexities’ after #CRISPR-Cas9 cleavage in human embryo: Loss of heterozygosity. Large deletions. Segmental loss or gain in Chromosome. Yet we will hear about actual #CRISPRbabies shortly at #GeneEditSummit

As @AndyBiotech reminded, there are two babies, Nana and Lulu, involved already. “Who will tell the babies they are CRISPRed?” Wondered @GaytanBurgio in a tweet.

@CDUvallet quoted He Jiankui’s response: “I don’t know how to answer that.”

The post Science and ethics experts still reeling from #CRISPRbabies fallout appeared first on Bill of Health.

12/03/2018 - 9:24am

“Diets are one of the top risk factors of morbidity and mortality in the world - more than air pollution, more than smoking,” said Jessica Fanzo, a professor at Johns Hopkins University and a lead author

12/03/2018 - 9:19am

And, so far, they’re just fine. America needs a sober debate about the pros and cons of Crispr instead of a paranoid ban on the technology

12/03/2018 - 9:15am

Paul Knoepfler writes, "The scientific community needs to take a firmer and clearer stance that making genetically modified babies is prohibited for the time being. A temporary moratorium specifically on implantation of gene-edited human embryos would achieve that with minimal risk of over-regulating research and no impact on in vitro research."