Driving genetic destruction

Anonymous,  Alliance for Natural Health,  2021.

We’re moving toward a brave new world of gene editing that the science is telling us could have disastrous consequences. Action Alert! Genetically-engineered (GE) mosquitoes have been released in a number of countries, including the US. We’ve known for some time that these experiments have not gone to plan, but a new paper provides a better understanding of how they’ve went awry, and provides a harrowing warning for what could go wrong with a new era of gene editing known as “gene drives” in which the genetics of entire species can be tampered with. This could create a nightmare scenario where, instead of a disease-carrying mosquito population being controlled or eliminated, unpredicted changes occur that make them even more virulent and dangerous. Current GE experiments involve altering the genetics of mosquitoes to be “self-limiting,” meaning that offspring inherit a gene that prevents them from surviving to adulthood, thus driving the population down. The goal is to limit the spread of diseases like dengue and yellow fever. But what has happened is that a certain percentage of the offspring of the GE mosquitoes are surviving and integrating into the gene pool of the local population. Scientists note this will have unpredictable consequences and could lead to more pathogenic disease strains—the very opposite of what these experiments were supposed to accomplish.

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