The EU not ready for the release of Gene drive organisms into the environment.

Pensoft Publishers,  ScienceDaily,  2020.

Within the last decades, new genetic engineering tools for manipulating genetic material in plants, animals and microorganisms are getting large attention from the international community, bringing new challenges and possibilities. While genetically modified organisms (GMO) have been known and used for quite a while now, gene drive organisms (GDO) are yet at the consideration and evaluation stage.

The difference between these two technologies, where both are meant to replace certain characters in animals or plants with ones that are more favourable for the human population, is that, even though in GDO there is also foreign “synthetic” DNA being introduced, the inheritance mode differs. In GDO, the genome’s original base arrangements are changed, using CRISPR/Cas-9 genome editing. Once the genome is changed, its alterations are carried down the organism’s offspring and subsequent generations.

In their study, published in the open-access journal BioRisk, an international group of scientists led by Marion Dolezel from the Environment Agency Austria, discuss the potential risks and impacts on the environment.

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