Heritable Human Genome Editing (HHGE)-Concepts and Scientific Issues

January 21, 2021

2:30am Virtual

Time: 18:30-20:00 (China Standard Time) | 2:30 – 4:00 a.m. (PST)

Streaming platform: Bilibili http://live.bilibili.com/22575361

Note: This time the seminar will be in Chinese.

Advances in genome editing techniques have made it possible for humans to precisely modify the genetic elements and natures of various organisms. Huge value can be brought by applying these techniques in biological research, industry and agriculture, and the development of new medical techniques. But Heritable Human Genome Editing (HHGE) is ethically controversial and poses potential risks. The concept of genome editing techniques, HHGE techniques, and some related topics are discussed in this lecture, as well as the consensus of the international scientific community about these techniques.

Key Discussions:

      • What are genes and genome editing techniques?
      • How are these techniques applied, especially in humans?
      • Why should heritable human genome editing (HHGE) be regulated?
      • What consensus does the new report reach?
      • What regulatory suggestions are given on the application of HHGE techniques?


    Wang Haoyi, Principal Investigator & Head of the Genetic Engineering Research Group, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
    Wang Haoyi earned his Ph.D. in Molecular Cell Biology from the University of Washington in 2009 and conducted postdoctoral research at the laboratory of Rudolf Jaenisch for the Whitehead Institute at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2009 to 2014 to develop and apply genome editing techniques in pluripotent stem cells and mice. In May 2014, he was recruited by the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences as a Principal Investigator and head of the genetic engineering research group. He has made several achievements in recent years, such as developing efficient gene editing methods in human pluripotent stem cells and CAR-T cells, developing a method for gene editing and embryo electroporation to generate mouse models, creating culture conditions for human naïve embryonic stem cells that allow the modeling of the random inactivation of the human X chromosome, and developing CRISPR-on and Casilio systems for in situ regulation of gene expression. In addition, he has published over 50 SCI papers which together have been cited more than ten thousand times. His laboratory is tasked with developing innovative gene therapy vectors and gene editing techniques, applying and improving these techniques to develop new CAR-T Cell therapies for preclinical and clinical research, and studying the epigenetic stability of human pluripotent stem cells. He was a representative of the Chinese Academy of Sciences to the International Commission on the Clinical Use of Human Germline Genome.


    Wang Yangming, Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular Medicine, Peking University, 2019-2020 Berggruen Fellow
    Wang Yangming is a Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Peking University, 2019-2020 Berggruen Fellow. He studies the function of noncoding RNAs—the dark matter of our genome—and stem cells that hold the potential to cure a variety of diseases such as diabetes and neurodegenerative diseases. He has published more than 30 articles and written several book chapters in RNA biology and stem cell biology. He is interested in the impact of cutting-edge biotechnology development such as genome editing, DNA sequencing, genetic diagnosis, and stem cell therapy on human society. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

composed by Arswain
machine learning consultation by Anna Tskhovrebov
commissioned by the Berggruen Institute
premiered at the Bradbury Building
downtown Los Angeles
april 22, 2022

Human perception of what sounds “beautiful” is necessarily biased and exclusive. If we are to truly expand our hearing apparatus, and thus our notion of beauty, we must not only shed preconceived sonic associations but also invite creative participation from beings non-human and non-living. We must also begin to cede creative control away from ourselves and toward such beings by encouraging them to exercise their own standards of beauty and collaborate with each other.

Movement I: Alarm Call
‘Alarm Call’ is a long-form composition and sound collage that juxtaposes, combines, and manipulates alarm calls from various human, non-human, and non-living beings. Evolutionary biologists understand the alarm call to be an altruistic behavior between species, who, by warning others of danger, place themselves by instinct in a broader system of belonging. The piece poses the question: how might we hear better to broaden and enhance our sense of belonging in the universe? Might we behave more altruistically if we better heed the calls of – and call out to – non-human beings?

Using granular synthesis, biofeedback, and algorithmic modulation, I fold the human alarm call – the siren – into non-human alarm calls, generating novel “inter-being” sonic collaborations with increasing sophistication and complexity. 

Movement II: A.I.-Truism
A synthesizer piece co-written with an AI in the style of Vangelis’s Blade Runner score, to pay homage to the space of the Bradbury Building.

Movement III: Alarmism
A machine learning model “learns” A.I.Truism and recreates Alarm Call, generating an original fusion of the two.

Movement IV: A.I. Call
A machine learning model “learns” Alarm Call and recreates A.I.Truism, generating an original fusion of the two.

RAVE (IRCAM 2021) https://github.com/acids-ircam/RAVE