Genetic modification could be used to combat invasive crayfish

O. Rudgard,  The Telegraph,  2021.

Genetically-modified crayfish carrying infertility genes could be used to tackle the problem of invasive crustaceans in British waterways. A technique being developed by scientists at the University of Edinburgh’s Roslin Institute offers hope for conservationists trying to tackle the problem of American crayfish invading UK rivers. “Gene drive” science, which involves altering the genetics of individuals of a certain species to spread desirable traits through a population, has been mooted as a possible solution to malarial mosquitoes and, in the UK, to the problem of invasive grey squirrels, where it would be used to spread infertility. Scientists are now suggesting the same technique as a potential solution to the problem of signal crayfish, a US species introduced to the UK in the 1970s that now poses a serious threat to Britain’s native white-clawed crayfish.

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