Perspectives

Opinions on and about gene drive technologies and their uses.

Driven to Exterminate

Z. Moloo and J. Thomas,  etc group,  2020.
Gates’s ‘let’s deploy it’ response may not seem out of character, but it was an unusually gung ho response given how risky the technology is widely acknowledged to be.
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Do Africans Want Genetically Modified Mosquitoes?

U. Effiong,  The Pursuit,  2020.
The recent publication by fellow Nigerian scientists—Patricia Okorie and colleagues—originally drew my attention to the issue of GMMs.
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Global citizen deliberation on genome editing

J. S. Dryzek, D. Nicol, S. Niemeyer, S. Pemberton, N. Curato, A. Bächtiger, P. Batterham, B. Bedsted, S. Burall, M. Burgess, G. Burgio, Y. Castelfranchi, H. Chneiweiss, G. Church, M. Crossley, J. de Vries, M. Farooque, M. Hammond, B. He, R. Mendonça, J.,  Science,  369:1435. 2020.
Here we show how, as the global governance vacuum is filled, deliberation by a global citizens' assembly should play a role, for legitimate and effective governance.
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Why the UK could end up deploying risky gene drives while ignoring natural biological control

J. Mathews,  GM Watch,  2020.
First they cloned Dolly the sheep. Now they’re targeting grey squirrels
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Do Africans need genetically modified mosquitoes?

genetically modified, mosquito, oxitec, autocidal, SIT, perspective, malaria, gene drive synthetic, engagement,,  Mail and Guardian,  2020.
The following is an updated version of an article I wrote for the University of Michigan Risk Science Centre a while ago:
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Viewpoint: Is there a scientific basis to ban gene drive technology that can rid us of virus-carrying rodents and mosquitoes?

K. Vavitas,  Genetic Literacy Project,  2020.
Gene drives may be invaluable tools to control the spread of parasites, invasive species, and disease carriers. But the technology has faced strong opposition from activist groups and some mainstream scientists based on environmental and food safety. Are these concerns valid?
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Cytoplasmic incompatibility: an autocidal mechanism for mosquito population control

V. Dev,  BugBitten BMC,  2020.
Cytoplasmic incompatibility resulting in non-reciprocal fertility is a naturally occurring phenomenon, but remains unexplored to greater extent for the control of insect vector populations. This mechanism deserves priority for mosquito control and reducing disease transmission, ...
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CRISPR gene drives could eliminate many vector-driven pests and diseases, but challenges remain

J. Champer,  Genetic Literacy Project,  2020.
A functioning gene drive system could fundamentally change our strategies for the control of vector-borne diseases by facilitating rapid dissemination of transgenes that prevent pathogen transmission or reduce vector capacity. CRISPR/Cas9 gene drive promises such a mechanism, ...
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An argument for gene drive technology to genetically control populations of insects like mosquitoes and locusts

I. Ronai and B. Lovett,  The Conversation,  2020.
The fate of society rests in part on how humans navigate their complicated relationship with insects – trying to save “good” insects and control “bad” ones. Some insects, like mosquitoes, bite people and make them sick – remember Zika? Now the U.S. mosquito season is ...
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Socrates Untenured: Ethics, Experts, and the Public in the Synthetic Age

C. Preston,  ISSUES in Science and Technology,  2020.
C. Preston (2020). Three tools have transformed biotechnology over the past decade and a half. Gene reading has made it possible to quickly sequence the genome of any living creature. Gene synthesis has made it possible to construct DNA sequences in the lab from constituent ...
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3 innovative technologies stopping malaria

B. Muni,  The Borgen Project,  2020.
Malaria has plummeted by 40% fifteen years after 2000. A report that NCBI published attributed this to mosquito preventative measures like bed netting and insecticides. These interventions and practices, like wearing light color clothing, help at-risk populations fight malaria. ...
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Beyone the buzz

C. Watson,  The Journal Gazette,  2020.
Lately I have found I need to force myself to follow science stories about something besides the pandemic. A story I consider hopeful involves genetically modified mosquitoes; we are developing a new tool that can reduce disease and save lives. The goal is to dramatically ...
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Please support a global moratorium on the environmental release of gene drive organisms

J. Riss, J. Munic and B. Harlin,  Open Letter,  2020.
J. Riss, J. Munic and B. Harlin (2020). Open Letter. We, the undersigned civil society organizations, write to you to request that the EU Commission fully supports the EU Parliament's call for a global moratorium on the release of Gene Drive Organisms (GDOs). This is in view of ...
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Soon we’ll be able to engineer the wild, can the policies keep up with the science?

M. Montague and A. Kobokovich,  The Hill,  2020.
Humans have been able to genetically alter the world around them for thousands of years. With the domestication of dogs at least 14,000 years ago, genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been a constant feature of human society; only recently have we gained the ability to ...
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Species Extinction & the Case for a Global Moratorium on Gene Drives

M. Imken,  ARC,  2020.
One million species are currently threatened with extinction, and humanity faces the challenge of stopping the sixth mass extinction in the history of our planet. Yet a new technology called Gene Drive enables human beings to reprogram wild species by genetic engineering and to ...
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Gene Drive: Can this be the Future of Agricultural Pest Management?

P. Mondal, U. Mohapatra and M. Ganguly,  International Journal of Current Microbiology and Applied Sciences,  9. 2020.
A world free of hunger may be possible when the agricultural production exceeds the global demand for the food. In the era of increasing population, the need for increased food production can be attainable by managing the destructive pests of the agricultural and horticultural ...
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Jonathan Latham on Gene Drives and the Gates Foundation

James Corbett,  The Corbett Report,  2020.
Jonathan Latham of Independent Science News joins us to discuss his 2017 article, “Gates Foundation Hired PR Firm to Manipulate UN Over Gene Drives.” We talk about gene drives, the dangers inherent in this technology, how the UN is involved, and why the Gates Foundation and ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in Florida and Texas beginning this summer – silver bullet or jumping the gun?

B. Allan, C. Stone, H. Tuten, J. Kuzma and N. Kofler,  The Conversation,  2020.
On May 1, 2020, the company Oxitec received an experimental use permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to release millions of GM mosquitoes (labeled by Oxitec as OX5034) every week over the next two years in Florida and Texas. Females of this mosquito species, Aedes ...
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Bioengineering horizon scan 2020

L. Kemp, L. Adam, C. R. Boehm, R. Breitling, R. Casagrande, M. Dando, A. Djikeng, N. G. Evans, R. Hammond, K. Hills, L. A. Holt, T. Kuiken, A. Markotić, P. Millett, J. A. Napier, C. Nelson, S. S. ÓhÉigeartaigh, A. Osbourn, M. J. Palmer, N. J. Patron, E. P,  eLife,  9:e54489. 2020.
Horizon scanning is intended to identify the opportunities and threats associated with technological, regulatory and social change. In 2017 some of the present authors conducted a horizon scan for bioengineering (Wintle et al., 2017). Here we report the results of a new horizon ...
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Gene Drives: Pursuing opportunities, minimizing risk

K. L. Warmbrod, A. Kobokovich, R. West, G. Ray, M. Trotochaud and M. Montague,  Center for Health Security,  2020.
This study analyzed the current state of gene drive technologies, the ways in which they might be deployed in the field, and the state of regulatory policy governing their development.
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