The viral era

B. Giese,  EMBO reports,  22:e53229. 2021.

New biotechnologies such as gene drives and engineered viruses herald a viral era that would give humans exceptional power over any organism at the level of the genotype. In synthetic biology, orthogonality—in the sense of lack of interference—between different systems or system components is sought for new creations. Current approaches to controlling gene drives also aim for orthogonality, but at a higher level of organisms, populations and species. To keep information under control, orthogonality and reversibility have to be guaranteed before  any releases. As with chemical substances, where persistence and bioaccumulation are reasons for concern, the same should apply to genetic information released into nature

Viral gene drive in herpesviruses

Targeting evolutionary conserved sequences circumvents the evolution of resistance in a viral gene drive against human cytomegalovirus

Is it time for synthetic biodiversity conservation?

Conservation implications of disease control

The impact of releasing sterile mosquitoes on malaria transmission