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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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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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Three 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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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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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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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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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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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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Gene drive technology makes mouse offspring inherit specific traits from parents

Cooper, KLG, Hannah A.,  The Conversation,  2019.
As mouse geneticists, we spend a lot of time waiting for mice to make more mice. Their small size, ease of care and willingness to mate have made mice the “mammal of choice” for scientists for more than a century. Indeed, these wriggly fur balls that strike fear in the hearts ...
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Gene editing research highlights challenges in using CRISPR for pest control

Dreaver, C,  Radio New Zealand,  2019.
US researchers have had some success in using the gene editing technique CRISPR to test out a gene drive in mice, to modify their genes - highlighting the challenges researchers face if it were to be used in pest eradication.
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Gene Drives Work in Mice (if They’re Female)

Rennie, JC, Jordana,  Quanta Magazine,  2019.
Conservationists and bioethicists often regard the packages of engineered DNA called “gene drives” with a mixture of wonder, excitement and dread. Gene drives violate the normal rules of inheritance by making sure they get passed down to all of their host organism’s ...
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Sustainability as a framework for considering gene drive mice for invasive rodent eradication

Barnhill-Dilling, SKS, M.; Blondel, D. V.; Godwin, J.,  Sustainability,  11:1334. 2019.
Gene drives represent a dynamic and controversial set of technologies with applications that range from mosquito control to the conservation of biological diversity on islands. Currently, gene drives are being developed in mice that may one day serve as an important tool for ...
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Africa kicks against proposed gene drive moratorium at UN Biodiversity Conference

Gakpo, JO,  Cornell Alliance for Science,  2018.
Africa has kicked against a proposed moratorium on the environmental release of organisms containing gene drives now under debate at the United Nation’s biodiversity conference in Egypt.
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Let’s say we can force the mosquito into extinction — should we do it?

Porterfield, A,  Genetic Literacy Project,  2018.
Not many people like mosquitoes. So why not eliminate them?; Newer techniques like CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing may make this possible. A new study by researchers at Imperial College London showed how CRISPR/Cas9 can generate a mutant gene that renders female mosquitos infertile, ...
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Proposed U.N. test ban on gene drives is idiotic

Bailey, R,  Reason,  2018.
A draft resolution would revise the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity to call on governments to "refrain from" releasing organisms containing engineered gene drives, according to the MIT Technology Review. A gene drive is a technology that can rapidly propagate a particular ...
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Editing nature: Local roots of global governance

Kofler, N.C., James P.; Kuzma, Jennifer; Marris, Emma; Esvelt, Kevin; Nelson, Michael Paul; Newhouse, Andrew; Rothschild, Lynn J.; Vigliotti, Vivian S.; Semenov, Misha; Jacobsen, Rowan; Dahlman, James E.; Prince, Shannon; Caccone, Adalgisa; Brown, Timothy,  Science,  2018.

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Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values

U. S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine,  The National Academies Press,  2016.
Scientists have studied gene drives for more than 50 years. The development of a powerful genome editing tool in 2012, CRISPR/Cas9,1 led to recent breakthroughs in gene drive research that built on that half century’s worth of knowledge, and stimulated new discussion of the ...
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Opinion: Is CRISPR-based gene drive a biocontrol silver bullet or global conservation threat?

Webber, BLR, S.; Edwards, O. R.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America,  112:10565-10567. 2015.
Scientists have recognized the potential for applying gene drive technologies to the control of invasive species for several years, yet debate about the application of gene drive has been primarily restricted to mosquitoes. Recent developments in clustered regularly interspaced ...
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Safeguarding gene drive experiments in the laboratory

Akbari, OSB, H. J.; Bier, E.; Bullock, S. L.; Burt, A.; Church, G. M.; Cook, K. R.; Duchek, P.; Edwards, O. R.; Esvelt, K. M.; Gantz, V. M.; Golic, K. G.; Gratz, S. J.; Harrison, M. M.; Hayes, K. R.; James, A. A.; Kaufman, T. C.; Knoblich, J.; Malik, H. S.; Matthews, K. A.; O'Connor-Giles, K. M.; Parks, A. L.; Perrimon, N.; Port, F.; Russell, S.; Ueda, R.; Wildonger, J.,  Science,  349:927-929. 2015.
Gene drive systems promote the spread of genetic elements through populations by assuring they are inherited more often than Mendelian segregation would predict (see the figure). Natural examples of gene drive from Drosophila include sex-ratio meiotic drive, segregation ...
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