New Zealand wants to get rid of stoats with genetic engineering

C. Weerasinghe,  Cyber Layman,  2021.

The principle of the “gene drive” is to modify a specific gene in a group of specimens of a species and then let the gene spread throughout the population by inheritance, through reproduction. If, as in this case, the aim is to reduce the population of animals, for example, we can make sure that only males are born. New Zealand stoats are not the only animals on which the technique of “gene drive” is thought to be used: for example, there are similar plans for mosquitoes that transmit malaria. The first time the technique proved effective was in 2015, when it was tested on a population of fruit flies; then it was tested on some species of yeast, insects and mice (for which, however, the effectiveness of the technique has not yet been demonstrated), never on an animal as large as an ermine. New Zealand may be the first country to experience such a thing domestically.

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