The CRISPR children, Episode 1

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The CRISPR Children is a series of podcasts about the children whose genomes were edited before their birth in 2018. The podcasts accompany a story I did about these children in Nature Biotechnology by the same name. You can find the story here: https://rdcu.be/cB7Nx

The children were born somewhere in China and the result of experiments performed in the lab of He Jiankui at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen. These were unethical experiments. But how are the children? And how could you assess their health and possible future risks? There is a lot of secrecy and rumor about these children. One has to maintain their privacy and dignity, of course. But they are also victims. They and their parents might be helped if the biomedical community tried to understand more about the experiments. But that is far from straightforward. Especially because many scientists declined to talk about them. But a number of them kindly did speak with me and I am grateful for that. Here is some of what I heard.

This episode is with Dr Kiran Musunuru of the University of Pennsylvania, a physician-scientist who works in genetics and gene-editing. He has also co-founded a company called Verve Therapeutics. He has written a book about the children called: The CRISPR generation The Story of the World’s First Gene-Edited Babies.

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