Unleashing the swarm: Battling the global mosquito menace and defending public health

J. Entine and S. Moxon,  Genetic Literacy Project,  2023.

There is one solution embraced by global health experts that should be pursued aggressively, if with some caution. Scientists in real-world trials have altered the genomes of entire animal populations, including mosquitoes, to thwart the vectoring of diseases and control pests — an innovation called gene drives. Emerging gene drive technologies offer enormous potential and have already shown their value in test projects in many parts of the world. More recently, the application of CRISPR/Cas9 tools has dramatically accelerated their effectiveness. But implementation on a wider scale is progressing at a snail’s pace. Why? For the most part, it is restrained by controversy, misunderstanding and the political opposition of activist environmental groups in Europe and North America.

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