The Daily Dose: CRISPRbabies and CRISPRbabies

It starts with CRISPRbabies: The day geneticists and bioethicists have long expected may come has arrived much quicker and recklessly than ever imagined. A Chinese geneticist named He Jiankui, from the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen, made the audacious claim to have genetically modified human embryos using CRISPR-Cas9 technology that have been taken to term as twins.

The revelation that he had created the first so-called “designer babies” (Or CRISPRbabies on Twitter) was met with widespread condemnation, revulsion, and more recently, punishment. Questions regarding his data, technique, and conclusions indicate that his claims may have been overstated.

He is now being accused of taking advantage of his subjects who had not been completely informed as to what the experiment entailed and may have been pressured into taking part. One thing is for sure. The world’s collective human genome will never be the same. The genetic alterations created in He’s lab will potentially be passed down generations and between people.

Chicken or Egg redux: The Annenberg Public Policy Center recently conducted research designed to demonstrate whether cannabis use in teens led to bad behavior or whether it was bad behavior that led to cannabis use. According to their press release, “cannabis use among teens does not appear to lead to greater conduct problems or greater affiliation with other teens who smoke cannabis, associations that previous research had suggested to be possible.”

Welcome Pharma News: The Israeli pharmaceutical company Teva has launch a generic version of Mylan’s EpiPen. The 0.3 mg version is being sold at $300, the same price as Mylan’s own generic version that was released two years ago.

It ends with CRISPRbabies: According to China Daily, “He Jiankui, the Chinese researcher who claimed to have created the world’s first gene-edited babies, has been suspended from any scientific activities amid mounting questions from government agencies and academicians about the experiment.   

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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