The CRISPR children. My latest story in @NatureBiotech , three years in the making. Thank you so much to those willing to be interviewed. So very many said: Noooo, go away, not taking about that!! Thank you to my editors. My sources. A first 🧵
Yes, a lot of stories have been written about the ‘CRISPR babies,’ who are now three years old. Here is some reading, hardly comprehensive…. It surprised me how little focus there was on the children's health and how to assess that.
There are three gene-edited children that we know of. Lulu and Nana. And there is a third, whom I call Amy. None of these names are their true names. Perhaps there are more children who were gene-edited before their birth.😦
According to sources, the children are ok. Hard to know if this is true, of course. They are, scientists told me, likely genetically mosaic. Some of their cells are edited, some are not. What might that mean for their health, their risk of disease?
It's also hard to ascertain which genetic variants are new, which are due to gene-editing and which other changes their genomes might have undergone. Epigenetic ones maybe?
The lab that did these experiments with human embryos and took them to term is from the now shuttered lab of He Jiankui at Southern University of Science and Technology in Shanghai.
The parents wanted a biological child. But. The wife is HIV negative, the husband HIV positive and treated with anti-retroviral drugs. Laws and rules are changing but it appears that at the time, HIV positive men could not take part in IVF in China.
Lulu and Nana were born prematurely, likely in October 2018. Amy was born in the spring of 2019. Lots more to say and much, much more to find out. But I will get back to working on the podcasts and add them to this thread.

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More from @metricausa

21 Jun 20
The report about the CDC SARS-Cov-2 test is out. Plenty went wrong. But the timeline still seems puzzling. In the course of January @WHO began making protocols for molecular tests available. The US authorities decided to use the CDC protocol. 1/n
For use at CDC the test worked. A scaled up version of the CDC protocol was made, it seems, at the CDC. These were assays for the public health labs. Much of February was lost due to the tests delivering spurious results. 2/n
The Respiratory Virus Diagnostic Lab developed a test in January, asked a CDC core lab to help make it. Not stated, but this likely involved primers and probes as well as negative and positive controls. Made them in Jan. What seems unclear is if validation tests were run. 3/n
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