Ecology: Gene drives may help control invasive grey squirrel in the UK

A. Korn,  EurekaAlert,  2021.

Existing gene drive technologies could be combined to help control the invasive grey squirrel population in the UK with little risk to other populations, according to a modelling study published in Scientific Reports. Gene drives introduce genes into a population that have been changed to induce infertility in females, allowing for the control of population size. However, they face technical challenges, such as controlling the spread of altered genes as gene drive individuals mate with wild individuals, and the development of genetic resistance, which may render the gene drive ineffective. To address these challenges, Nicky Faber and colleagues used computer modelling to investigate the effectiveness of a combination of three gene drive technologies using the grey squirrel as a case study.

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