Gene drive research: Why it matters

The Royal Society,  Royal Society Statement,  2018.

Gene drives are systems that bias the inheritance of a particular DNA sequence. Many such systems occur naturally and scientists are now investigating the potential to develop new ones using synthetic biology techniques. Synthetic gene drives are being developed for a range of purposes that would benefit humanity, but it is not possible at this stage to know whether the benefits outweigh the risks. Further research will help to reduce uncertainties and characterise potential risks and benefits. It is important that any research that does proceed is appropriately governed and combined with public debate. The Royal Society therefore recommends that the UN Convention on Biological Diversity avoid the adoption of any position that would support an international moratorium on gene drive research, including experimental field trials.