#CRISPRbabies: Notes on a Scandal

Date Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2019


Article written by Sean P. Ryder for The CRISPR Journal

Protecting the innocents—What will become of the twin girls whose DNA was recklessly mutated to destroy the CCR5 gene? 

Like almost everyone, I was stunned by the birth announcement of genetically modified twins, Lulu and Nana. A Tweet pointed me to the MIT Technology Review scoop1 that, along with a subsequent Associated Press article confirming the births,2 revealed something shocking: Chinese researcher He Jiankui (Southern University of Science and Technology) had used CRISPR*-Cas9 gene editing technology to mutate (sic) the DNA of human embryos—embryos that were then implanted and brought to term. Though CRISPR pioneer Jennifer Doudna (HHMI/UC Berkeley) warned us this might happen,3 I had trusted that my fellow scientists would ensure that human trials involving embryonic genome editing would be done transparently, ethically, and with strong moral purpose. 

Alas, it quickly became clear this was not the case. 

Read the full article in the December 20, 2018, The CRISPR Journal

 

For more about the Ryder lab, please visit www.umassmed.edu/ryderlab