Perspectives

Opinions on and about gene drive technologies and their uses.

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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Risk assessment challenges of synthetic gene drive organisms

E. Sirinathsinghji,  TWN Biosafety Briefing,  2020.
The development of gene drive organisms (GDOs) is highly controversial, as illustrated by the intense academic, political and societal debates over their potential deployment for a variety of applications from public health to conservation, agriculture and dual-use technologies. ...
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Risk assessment challenges of synthetic gene drive organisms

E. Sirinathsinghji,  TWN Biosafety Briefing,  2020.

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Understanding the Science of Gene Drive and the Potential for an Improved Crop Pest Control System in Nigeria

A. Isah and R. S. M. Gidado,  OFAB Nigeria,  2020.
Several studies have shown that the Cas9-mediated gene drive technology is cheaper and will be easily affordable by the efficient Nigerian scientists to explore. The application of the gene drive technologies have many more controls over several other devastating insects in ...
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When Humankind Overrides Evolution

M. Skipper,  World Economic Forum,  Davos 2020. 2020.
Advances in synthetic biology and other novel genetic procedures could resurrect extinct species or eliminate dangerous pests. What actions are needed now to ensure the ethical and responsible application of new genetic techniques?
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Irreversible ecosystem engineering with Gene Drive Organisms

Save Our Seeds,  Save Our Seeds,  2020.
Gene drive technology is a particular application of the new genetic engineering tool CRISPR/Cas9. It is designed to genetically modify, replace or eradicate wild populations or entire species. So far it works in mosquitos, mice, flies, yeast and nematodes. But in principle it ...
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Gene Drive Film

Save Our Seeds,  ,  2020.
This is a video based on the findings in GENE DRIVES: A report on their science, applications, social aspects, ethics and regulations which you can find here.  There was a Symposium on May 24, 2019 that covers the topics in the report and the presentations at that symposium can ...
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Gene drives : equity demands civility

N. Kofler,  Nature,  565:25. 2020.
At the 14th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity late last year, I witnessed the rapid deterioration of a crucial discussion. It was on the potential of synthetic biology in environmental conservation. What started as heckling turned ...
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These are the 5 most dystopian technologies of 2020 and beyond

M. Sullivan,  FastCompany,  2019.
Tech is always both good and bad. But we live in a time when everything gets weaponized—ideas, images, ancient texts, biases, and even people. And technology provides the tools to do it easier, faster, and with less resources.
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Exterminator genes: The right to say no to ethics dumping

Bassey-Orovwuje, M., J. Thomas and T. Wakeford,  Development,  62:121-127. 2019.
The scientific-industrial complex is promoting a new wave of genetically modified organisms, in particular gene drive organisms, using the same hype with which they tried to persuade society that GMOs would be a magic bullet to solve world hunger. The Gates Foundation claims that ...
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Gene drives in Africa – A Podcast

Wakeford, T.,  etc Group,  2019.
In Episode #1 ETC's Tom Wakeford speaks with Ugandan lawyer and advocate Barbara Ntambirweki about gene drives, a powerful new genetic technology that can change species in the wild and make species go extinct.
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Gene Drives and new genetic manipulation in agriculture

Terra de Direitos,  Terra de Direitos,  2019.
Gene drives are forms of genetic editing or manipulation of live organisms. They are the most dangerous forms of transgenics which edit genetic characteristics without necessarily including a new gene, but rather manipulating existing genes of live organisms, i.e. live organism ...
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Gene drives in Wisconsin agriculture: What are they, and should you support it?

Jones, M. and Mitchell, P. D.,  Renk Agribusiness Institute,  2019.
Spotted wing drosophila and citrus psyllid are not serious economic problems for Wisconsin agriculture. However, these and other smaller, geographically limited applications of gene drives are excellent ways to prove the concept and refine the methods. Pending the outcome of ...
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Malaria eradication within a generation: ambitious, achievable, and necessary

R. G. A. Feachem, I. Chen, O. Akbari, A. Bertozzi-Villa, S. Bhatt, F. Binka, M. F. Boni, C. Buckee, J. Dieleman, A. Dondorp, A. Eapen, N. Sekhri Feachem, S. Filler, P. Gething, R. Gosling, A. Haakenstad, K. Harvard, A. Hatefi, D. Jamison, K. E. Jones, C.,  Lancet,  394:1056-1112. 2019.
50 years after a noble but flawed attempt to eradicate malaria in the mid-20th century, the global malaria community is once again seriously considering eradication. Momentum towards eradication has been building for decades, and more than half of the world’s countries are now ...
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Genetically engineered mosquitoes out of control

GM Watch,  GM Watch,  2019.
According to a new scientific publication, genetically engineered mosquitoes produced by the biotech company Oxitec (Intrexon) have escaped human control after trials in Brazil. They are now spreading in the environment. The yellow fever mosquitoes (Aedes aegypti) are genetically ...
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Gene Drives in Africa: Civil Society Speaks Out

African Centre for Biodiversity,  African Centre for Biodiversity,  2019.
On Monday 1st July 2019, Target Malaria announced the release of genetically modified (GM) sterile male mosquitoes in Bana, a village in Burkina Faso – the first GM insect to be released in Africa. This is Phase I – by Phase III, Target Malaria aims to release gene drive ...
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Gene drive organisms: What Africa should know about actors, motives and threats to biodiversity and food systems

Sirinathsinghji, E.,  African Centre for Biodiversity.,  2019.
In this briefing paper, we set out the key issues that our governments should have addressed with African civil society before endorsing positions and setting the benchmark for Africa-wide policy. In this regard, we point out that, while the impetus for the AU position might well ...
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