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No Environmental Release of Gene Drive Organisms

Anonymous,  STOP GENE DRIVES,  2022.
We urge governments to prevent the environmental release of gene drive organisms and to establish a global moratorium on the release of gene drive organisms at the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Gene drives work against natural rules of inheritance forcing nearly ...
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A CRISPR endonuclease gene drive reveals distinct mechanisms of inheritance bias

S. A. N. Verkuijl, E. Gonzalez, M. Li, J. X. D. Ang, N. P. Kandul, M. A. E. Anderson, O. S. Akbari, M. B. Bonsall and L. Alphey,  Nature Communications,  13:7145. 2022.
CRISPR/Cas gene drives can bias transgene inheritance through different mechanisms. Homing drives are designed to replace a wild-type allele with a copy of a drive element on the homologous chromosome. In Aedes aegypti, the sex-determining locus is closely linked to the white ...
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SHOULD WE CREATE GENE DRIVE GREY SQUIRRELS

S. Hartley and T. Law,  GeneDriveGovernance.org,  2022.
UK scientists have proposed gene drive as a management tool to control grey squirrels. Now is a good time to talk about this emerging technology because the hopes and concerns of experts, stakeholders and the public can help to determine if or how it might be developed. To help ...
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Leveraging a natural murine meiotic drive to suppress invasive populations

L. Gierus, A. Birand, M. D. Bunting, G. I. Godahewa, S. G. Piltz, K. P. Oh, A. J. Piaggio, D. W. Threadgill, J. Godwin, O. Edwards, P. Cassey, J. V. Ross, T. A. A. Prowse and P. Q. Thomas,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  119:e2213308119. 2022.
Invasive rodents are a major cause of environmental damage and biodiversity loss, particularly on islands. Unlike insects, genetic biocontrol strategies including population-suppressing gene drives with biased inheritance have not been developed in mice. Here, we demonstrate a ...
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New self-sexing Aedes aegypti strain eliminates barriers to scalable and sustainable vector control for governments and communities in dengue-prone environments

S. A. M. Spinner, Z. H. Barnes, A. M. Puinean, P. Gray, T. Dafa’alla, C. E. Phillips, C. Nascimento de Souza, T. F. Frazon, K. Ercit, A. Collado, N. Naish, E. Sulston, G. C. Ll. Phillips, K. K. Greene, M. Poletto, B. D. Sperry, S. A. Warner, N. R. Rose, G,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  10. 2022.
For more than 60 years, efforts to develop mating-based mosquito control technologies have largely failed to produce solutions that are both effective and scalable, keeping them out of reach of most governments and communities in disease-impacted regions globally. High pest ...
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Anopheles homing suppression drive candidates exhibit unexpected performance differences in simulations with spatial structure

S. E. Champer, I. K. Kim, A. G. Clark, P. W. Messer and J. Champer,  eLife,  11:e79121. 2022.
Recent experiments have produced several Anopheles gambiae homing gene drives that disrupt female fertility genes, thereby eventually inducing population collapse. Such drives may be highly effective tools to combat malaria. One such homing drive, based on the zpg promoter ...
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Points to consider in seeking biosafety approval for research, testing, and environmental release of experimental genetically modified biocontrol products during research and development

W. K. Tonui, V. Ahuja, C. J. Beech, J. B. Connolly, B. Dass, D. C. M. Glandorf, et al.,  Transgenic Research,  2022.
Novel genetically modified biological control products (referred to as “GM biocontrol products”) are being considered to address a range of complex problems in public health, conservation, and agriculture, including preventing the transmission of vector-borne parasitic and ...
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Daisy-chain gene drives: The role of low cut-rate, resistance mutations, and maternal deposition

S. A. N. Verkuijl, M. A. E. Anderson, L. Alphey and M. B. Bonsall,  PLOS Genetics,  18:e1010370. 2022.
Author summary Reducing the harm of pest species by the introgression of traits into a wild population is often limited by the difficulties of mass rearing and release of modified individuals. Gene drives present an opportunity to substantially reduce the release frequencies ...
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Selfish evolution of placental hormones

G. Keegan and M. M. Patten,  Evolution, Medicine, and Public Health,  10:391-397. 2022.
We hypothesize that some placental hormones—specifically those that arise by tandem duplication of genes for maternal hormones—may behave as gestational drivers, selfish genetic elements that encourage the spontaneous abortion of offspring that fail to inherit them. Such ...
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Rational engineering of a synthetic insect-bacterial mutualism

Y. Su, H.-C. Lin, L. S. Teh, F. Chevance, I. James, C. Mayfield, K. G. Golic, J. A. Gagnon, O. Rog and C. Dale,  Current Biology,  2022.
Summary Many insects maintain mutualistic associations with bacterial endosymbionts, but little is known about how they originate in nature. In this study, we describe the establishment and manipulation of a synthetic insect-bacterial symbiosis in a weevil host. Following egg ...
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Precision Guided Sterile Males Suppress Populations of an Invasive Crop Pest

N. P. Kandul, J. Liu, A. Buchman, I. C. Shriner, R. M. Corder, N. Warsinger-Pepe, T. Yang, A. K. Yadav, M. J. Scott, J. M. Marshall and O. S. Akbari,  GEN Biotechnology,  1:372-385. 2022.
The Drosophila suzukii invasion of western countries has created an immense agricultural and economic threat to crop production. Despite many attempts to suppress its population, D. suzukii continues to destroy soft-flesh fruits. Precision guided sterile insect technique (pgSIT) ...
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Reflection on the Challenges, Accomplishments, and New Frontiers of Gene Drives

M. Melesse Vergara, J. Labbé and J. Tannous,  BioDesign Research,  2022:9853416. 2022.
Ongoing pest and disease outbreaks pose a serious threat to human, crop, and animal lives, emphasizing the need for constantgenetic discoveries that could serve as mitigation strategies. Gene drives are genetic engineering approaches discovered decadesago that may allow quick, ...
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Population replacement gene drive characteristics for malaria elimination in a range of seasonal transmission settings: a modelling study

S. Leung, N. Windbichler, E. A. Wenger, C. A. Bever and P. Selvaraj,  Malaria Journal,  21:226. 2022.
BACKGROUND: Gene drives are a genetic engineering method where a suite of genes is inherited at higher than Mendelian rates and has been proposed as a promising new vector control strategy to reinvigorate the fight against malaria in sub-Saharan Africa. METHODS: Using an ...
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Development of CRISPR/Cas9-Mediated Gene-Drive Construct Targeting the Phenotypic Gene in Plutella xylostella

M. Asad, D. Liu, J. Li, J. Chen and G. Yang,  Frontiers in Physiology,  13:938621. 2022.
The gene-drive system can ensure that desirable traits are transmitted to the progeny more than the normal Mendelian segregation. The clustered regularly interspersed palindromic repeats (CRISPR)/CRISPR-associated protein 9 (Cas9) mediated gene-drive system has been demonstrated ...
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Gene Drive in Species Complexes: Defining Target Organisms

J. B. Connolly, J. Romeis, Y. Devos, D. C. M. Glandorf, G. Turner and M. B. Coulibaly,  Trends in Biotechnology,  2022.
Engineered gene drives, which bias their own inheritance to increase in frequency in target populations, are being developed to control mosquito malaria vectors. Such mosquitoes can belong to complexes of both vector and non-vector species that can produce fertile interspecific ...
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Public deliberation and the regulation of gene drive in the USA

W. F. West, L. W. Buchman and R. F. Medina,  Science and Public Policy,  scac032. 2022.
Gene drive is a new form of biotechnology designed to bias the inheritance of selected traits in animal or plant species that reproduce sexually and have relatively short reproductive cycles. Unlike traditional breeding techniques and other forms of biotechnology, gene drive is ...
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Investigating CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive for production of disease-preventing prion gene alleles

A. R. Castle, S. Wohlgemuth, L. Arce and D. Westaway,  PLoS One,  17:e0269342. 2022.
Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that includes chronic wasting disease, which affects cervids and is highly transmissible. Given that chronic wasting disease prevalence exceeds 30% in some endemic areas of North America, and that eventual ...
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Gene Editing and Genetic Control of Hemipteran Pests: Progress, Challenges and Perspectives

I. D. Pacheco, L. L. Walling and P. W. Atkinson,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  10. 2022.
The origin of the order Hemiptera can be traced to the late Permian Period more than 230 MYA, well before the origin of flowering plants 100 MY later in during the Cretaceous period. Hemipteran species consume their liquid diets using a sucking proboscis; for phytophagous ...
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The Cif proteins from Wolbachia prophage WO modify sperm genome integrity to establish cytoplasmic incompatibility

R. Kaur, B. A. Leigh, I. T. Ritchie and S. R. Bordenstein,  PLOS Biology,  20:e3001584. 2022.
In Drosophila melanogaster, germline expression of the Wolbachia proteins CifA and CifB causes cytoplasmic incompatibility, but how this impairs male reproduction remains unclear. This study shows how Cif proteins encoded by the endosymbiont prophage invade the fly’s gametic ...
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Intronic gRNAs for the Construction of Minimal Gene Drive Systems

A. Nash, P. Capriotti, A. Hoermann, P. A. Papathanos and N. Windbichler,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  10. 2022.
Gene drives are promising tools for the genetic control of insect vector or pest populations. CRISPR-based gene drives are generally highly complex synthetic constructs consisting of multiple transgenes and their respective regulatory elements. This complicates the generation of ...
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