Huge news from China, where scientists have claimed to have used CRISPR/Cas9 to genetically modify human babies for the first time in history. Not sure what to think about the ethics of all this as yet, but I like what Dr. Jiankui He has to say about genes not defining you:
“Our DNA does not predetermine our purpose or what we could achieve. We flourish from our own hard work, nutrition, and support from society and our loved ones. Whatever our genes may be, we are equal in dignity and potential.”
In this particular case, the volunteer fathers all have HIV and they want to make sure that their progeny do not suffer from the terrible disease of AIDS. Earlier speculation here. The scientists plan is to eliminate a gene called CCR5, so as to ensure that the human offspring are then resistant to HIV (as well as smallpox and cholera).
Note that some media reports are placing doubt on the accuracy of these claims and the methodology used.
Update: Dr. George Church seems to think this is for real:
“I have been in contact with the Shenzhen team and have seen the data. The sequencing assays used are generally unambiguous, especially when done in multiple cell types at different developmental stages and in two children. Is the genie really out of the bottle? Yes.”
First Gene Edited Babies Claimed in China
Scott Tries a New Hair System
I was thinking of adding Scott’s latest video about his new hair system to my original lengthy post on his hair system, where there are already three other videos (including a before one).
Then I changed my mind and decided to give him almost as much importance as Lulu and Nana. I like this hair system better than the first one.