Keywords: invasive species

Generation of Gene Drive Mice for Invasive Pest Population Suppression

M. D. Bunting, C. Pfitzner, L. Gierus, M. White, S. Piltz and P. Q. Thomas,  Applications of Genome Modulation and Editing,  2022.
Gene drives are genetic elements that are transmitted to greater than 50% of offspring and have potential for population modification or suppression. While gene drives are known to occur naturally, the recent emergence of CRISPR-Cas9 genome-editing technology has enabled ...
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Wolbachia 16S rRNA haplotypes detected in wild Anopheles stephensi in eastern Ethiopia

E. Waymire, S. Duddu, S. Yared, D. Getachew, D. Dengela, S. R. Bordenstein, M. Balkew, S. Zohdy, S. R. Irish and T. E. Carter,  Parasites and Vectors,  15:178. 2022.
About two out of three Ethiopians are at risk of malaria, a disease caused by the parasites Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Anopheles stephensi, an invasive vector typically found in South Asia and the Middle East, was recently found to be distributed across eastern ...
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What role can gene editing play in predator control? And are we ready to accept it?

K. Green,  Stuff,  2022.
The once-forbidden concept of gene editing for predator control is back on the table after two projects receivedGovernment funding. Despite advances overseas, experts are worried research in New Zealand will never make it out of the lab, with no plans to change current ...
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Bayesian network-based risk assessment of synthetic biology: Simulating CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive dynamics in invasive rodent management

E. A. Brown, S. R. Eikenbary and W. G. Landis,  Risk Analysis,  2022.
Gene drive technology has been proposed to control invasive rodent populations as an alternative to rodenticides. However, this approach has not undergone risk assessment that meets criteria established by Gene Drives on the Horizon, a 2016 report by the National Academies of ...
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Aquatic invasive species specialists’ perceptions on the importance of genetic tools and concepts to inform management

T. A. Bernos, K. M. Jeffries and N. E. Mandrak,  Biological Invasions,  24:1863-1879. 2022.
Perceptions related to the importance of genetic research influence the mobilization of genetic tools and concepts to inform conservation actions. Research characteristics, stakeholders’ perspectives, knowledge, and social linkages with geneticists influence the outcome of ...
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The principles driving gene drives for conservation

S. Hartley, R. Taitingfong and P. Fidelman,  Environmental Science and Policy,  135:36-45. 2022.
Gene drive technology is an emerging biotechnology with the potential to address some of the most intractable global biodiversity conservation issues. Scientists are exploring potential gene drive applications for managing invasive species and building resilience in keystone ...
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Quality Control Methods for Aedes albopictus Sterile Male Transportation

G. D. Mastronikolos, A. Kapranas, G. K. Balatsos, C. Ioannou, D. P. Papachristos, P. G. Milonas, A. Puggioli, I. Pajović, D. Petrić, R. Bellini, A. Michaelakis and N. T. Papadopoulos,  Insects,  2022.
Genetic based mosquito control methods have been gaining ground in recent years for their potential to achieve effective suppression or replacement of vector populations without hampering environments or causing any public health risk. These methods require the mass rearing of ...
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Monitoring Needs for Gene Drive Mosquito Projects: Lessons From Vector Control Field Trials and Invasive Species

G. Rašić, N. F. Lobo, E. H. Jeffrey Gutiérrez, C. H. Sánchez and J. M. Marshall,  Frontiers in Genetics,  12:780327. 2022.
As gene drive mosquito projects advance from contained laboratory testing to semi-field testing and small-scale field trials, there is a need to assess monitoring requirements to: i) assist with the effective introduction of the gene drive system at field sites, and ii) detect ...
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Track New Zealand’s Bid to Take Back Nature

K. Peek,  Scientific American,  2022.
A thousand years ago the islands that today form New Zealand were riotously wild. Birds, reptiles and invertebrates flourished in lush forests hundreds of miles from any other landmass. Māori settlers in the 1200s brought Polynesian rats for food, and together the humans and the ...
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Could we delete diseases passed down through our DNA?

E. Rayne,  SYFY,  2022.
What has now been proven possible was once the stuff of science fiction dreams. CRISPR has shown it can successfully edit out detrimental genetic conditions before they are inherited — which could mean the beginning of the end for hereditary diseases. It could also help ...
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Scientists expand CRISPR-Cas9 genetic inheritance control in mammals

M. Aguilera,  Phys Org,  2022.
Led by graduate student Alexander Weitzel, Grunwald, Cooper and their colleagues have now succeeded in developing CRISPR-Cas9 inheritance control in male mice by shifting the gene editing window to more closely match the timing of meiosis in both sexes. Their results were ...
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The prince, the mayor, and the U.S. fish that ate Japan

C. Elliot,  National Geographic,  2022.
When Crown Prince Akihito visited Chicago on October 3, 1960, his sole request was to visit Shedd Aquarium. Then Mayor Richard J. Daley, an avid angler, presented the prince with a gift that he scooped with a net from one of the tanks himself: 18 bluegills, the official Illinois ...
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Stakeholder engagement to inform the risk assessment and governance of gene drive technology to manage spotted-wing drosophila

A. E. Kokotovich, S. K. Barnhill-Dilling, J. E. Elsensohn, R. Li, J. A. Delborne and H. Burrack,  Journal of Environmental Management,  307:114480. 2022.
Emerging biotechnologies, such as gene drive technology, are increasingly being proposed to manage a variety of pests and invasive species. As one method of genetic biocontrol, gene drive technology is currently being developed to manage the invasive agricultural pest ...
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Modeling CRISPR gene drives for suppression of invasive rodents using a supervised machine learning framework

S. E. Champer, N. Oakes, R. Sharma, P. García-Díaz, J. Champer and P. W. Messer,  PLoS Comput Biol,  17:e1009660. 2021.
Invasive rodent populations pose a threat to biodiversity across the globe. When confronted with these invaders, native species that evolved independently are often defenseless. CRISPR gene drive systems could provide a solution to this problem by spreading transgenes among ...
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How sci-fi weapon could stop grey squirrels killing Britain’s trees

rymeradelle,  INentertainment,  2021.
Grey squirrels pose the greatest threat to British foresters at the moment. They eat the bark of trees, leaving them to die. Picture: Grey squirrel perched on a tree It’s bad enough watching Britain’s ash trees wither from the ash dieback fungus now ravaging our countryside. ...
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New developments in the field of genomic technologies and their relevance to conservation management

G. Segelbacher, M. Bosse, P. Burger, P. Galbusera, J. A. Godoy, P. Helsen, C. Hvilsom, L. Iacolina, A. Kahric, C. Manfrin, M. Nonic, D. Thizy, I. Tsvetkov, N. Veličković, C. Vilà, S. M. Wisely and E. Buzan,  Conservation Genetics,  2021.
Recent technological advances in the field of genomics offer conservation managers and practitioners new tools to explore for conservation applications. Many of these tools are well developed and used by other life science fields, while others are still in development. ...
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Genetic control of invasive sea lamprey in the Great Lakes

D. Ferreira-Martins, J. Champer, D. W. McCauley, Z. Zhang and M. F. Docker,  Journal of Great Lakes Research,  2021.
The invasive sea lamprey was a significant factor in the collapse of fish stocks in the Great Lakes, and it continues to threaten the multi-billion-dollar fishing industry. Thus, substantial resources are invested annually on sea lamprey control. Current control strategies have ...
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New Zealand wants to get rid of stoats with genetic engineering

C. Weerasinghe,  Cyber Layman,  2021.
The principle of the “gene drive” is to modify a specific gene in a group of specimens of a species and then let the gene spread throughout the population by inheritance, through reproduction. If, as in this case, the aim is to reduce the population of animals, for example, ...
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A Golden Menace

S. Moutinho,  Science,  2021.
An even bigger catastrophe looms: the invasion of the Amazon and its tributaries, part of the largest drainage basin in South America, which spans eight countries and is one of the richest hot spots for biodiversity on the planet. Golden mussels have been documented in the ...
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Decision and Analysis Tools for Complex Problems

Hector Quemada and David O'Brochta,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2021.
The challenges associated with the multiple phases of testing and possible deployment of gene drive-containing organisms appear to have similarities to those associated with various aspects of invasive species management. Preventing unwanted spread of the target species as well ...
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Genetically-modified possums and all-in-one trapping machines: funding for new predator-free studies

A. Allott,  stuff,  2021.
Research into possum genes and creating an all-in-one predator detecting, luring, and trapping machine are among a handful of projects to receive new funding to help bring them into reality. Predator Free 2050 has awarded $2.4 million in Jobs for Nature funding to six ...
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Faut-il miser sur le forçage génétique contre les espèces invasives?

P. Minet,  Le Temps,  2021.
Un «gene drive» peut servir à annihiler complètement et rapidement une population d’animaux indésirables. Prometteuse pour lutter contre les espèces invasives, cette technologie a fait l’objet d’âpres débats dans le cadre du congrès mondial de la nature à ...
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To exterminate, or not to: Scientists debate tweaking wild genomes

French Press Agency,  Daily Sabah,  2021.
veryone remembers Jeff Goldblum's famous speech in 1993 classic Jurassic Park: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should.” Well, these scientists are debating whether one should. In the movie, reconstructing and ...
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Scientists debate promise, peril of tweaking wild genomes

J. Zamora,  Phys Org,  2021.
In the movie Jurassic Park, reconstructing and tweaking genetic material makes it possible to bring dinosaurs back to life. Today, a technology that manipulates animal genomes, called gene drive, has become a reality. The goal, however, is not to revive long-gone species, but to ...
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$1M in funding for project to cull mouse plagues

K. Brown,  University of Adelaide NEWSROOM,  2021.
South Australian researchers are set to use genetic tools to help find innovative solutions to the devastating mouse plagues that have caused massive economic damage to Australian farmers.The University of Adelaide has been awarded $1 million in funding from the South Australian ...
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Knowing and Controlling: Engineering Ideals and Gene Drive for Invasive Species Control in Aotearoa New Zealand

C. H. Ross,  Nature Remade: Engineering Life, Envisioning Worlds,  2021.
On the islands of Aotearoa, also called New Zealand, invasive species have been a prominent and persistent concern for local ecosystems. Traditional methods of biological control, though, can be difficult to implement and often have harmful side- effects for the environment and ...
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Invasive Species Management: Informing Gene Drive Considerations

David O'Brochta and Hector Quemada,  GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  2021.
The management, control and elimination of invasive species involves solving problems that have analogs to those anticipating the use of gene drive technologies to control and eliminate malaria in Africa.  Avoiding unintended consequences from interventions designed to reduce or ...
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The Promise of Genetics and Genomics for Improving Invasive Mammal Management on Islands

B. T. Burgess, R. L. Irvine, G. R. Howald and M. A. Russello,  Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution,  9. 2021.
Invasive species are major contributors to global biodiversity decline. Invasive mammalian species (IMS), in particular, have profound negative effects in island systems that contain disproportionally high levels of species richness and endemism. The eradication and control of ...
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Invasive Mice and Engineered Genes

W. M. Adams and K. H. Redford,  Yale University Press Blog,  2021.
On Gough Island, a steep speck of land deep in the South Atlantic, giant mice eat albatross chicks as they sit on their nests. They are house mice, accidental arrivals on the ships of long-dead sealers. But they have lost their secretive, timid, mousy ways. Over numerous ...
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World Nature Conservation Day: Technology to Forge a Path for Nature Conservation and Communities

P. Becker,  Isand Conservation,  2021.
Gene drives are a genetic phenomenon that occurs in nature and causes a gene or trait to have a greater than 50% chance of inheritance. Island Conservation and partners have formed the Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents (GBIRd) partnership, to explore the technical and social ...
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Mice Plague Eastern Australia in Record Numbers

B. Nogrady,  The Scientist,  2021.
Just before Christmas last year, Julie Leven and her husband Des took their camper up to visit their son in northern New South Wales, Australia. Driving back at night to their home in Gilgandra, around 430 kilometers northwest of Sydney, they saw masses of white spots moving ...
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Victory: NSW Government Invests in Humane Mice Control!

PETA Australia,  PETA Australia,  2021.
Just two weeks after calling us “brainless” for suggesting that the state government invest in more ethical, eco-friendly methods of mice control – Minister for Agriculture Adam Marshall announced a $1.8 million package to “fast-track the delivery of next generation ...
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New biocontrol research to help prevent mice plagues

Anonymous,  The National Tribune,  2021.
Scientists at the University of Adelaide are partnering with the CSIRO and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions on breakthrough genetic biocontrol research to help control mice populations and prevent future mice plagues. The three-year research program will identify fast ...
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Gene drive could be a game changer for future mouse control.

Anonymous,  Centre for Invasive Species Solutions,  2021.
We are proud to announce we will be coordinating a brand new, three-year program of genetic biocontrol research, which will identify fast acting gene drives designed to spread an inherited characteristic through a population at higher-than-normal rates. Using targeted gene ...
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Scientists want to alter rodent genes to prevent mice plagues

P. Hannon,  The Sydney Morning Herald,  2021.
Mice plagues, such as the one ravaging parts of inland NSW, could become a thing of the past if scientists succeed in modifying the genes of the rodents so that populations crash before they can take off. Paul Thomas, a researcher at the University of Adelaide, is part of an ...
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Gene-Editing Approach To Control the Invasive Gray Squirrel

M. Campbell,  Technology Networks,  2021.
Biodiversity refers to the extent of the variety of life that is found on planet Earth – and it is currently under threat. Changes in biodiversity have been flagged as "surpassing safe limits" for several years, and world leaders and scientists across the globe are consequently ...
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Ecology: Gene drives may help control invasive grey squirrel in the UK

A. Korn,  EurekaAlert,  2021.
Gene drives introduce genes into a population that have been changed to induce infertility in females, allowing for the control of population size. However, they face technical challenges, such as controlling the spread of altered genes as gene drive individuals mate with wild ...
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Genetically modified squirrels could curb growing population of greys

S. Knapton,  Telegraph,  2021.
Mutant grey squirrels, genetically modified to spread infertility genes, could be released into the wild to tackle the burgeoning population,
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Expert reaction to a paper suggesting that gene drives could be used to help control grey squirrel numbers in the UK

Anonymous,  Science Media Centre,  2021.
This study assesses the prospects for using a gene drive to control invasive grey squirrels in the UK. This is a modelling study exploring the potential for such an approach – no such gene drives currently exist and developing them for grey squirrels would be quite a long-term ...
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CRISPR gene drives may come to a squirrel near you.

Anonymous,  NewsBeezer,  2021.
Today’s gene drive technologies could be blended to provide control of the invasive gray squirrel population in the UK – with minimal risk to other populations, according to a new modeling published in the journal Scientific reports. Gene driving introduces altered genes ...
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Novel combination of CRISPR-based gene drives eliminates resistance and localises spread

N. R. Faber, G. R. McFarlane, R. C. Gaynor, I. Pocrnic, C. B. A. Whitelaw and G. Gorjanc,  Scientific Reports,  11:3719. 2021.
As a case study, we model HD-ClvR in the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), which is an invasive pest in the UK and responsible for both biodiversity and economic losses. HD-ClvR combats resistance allele formation by combining a homing gene drive with a cleave-and-rescue gene ...
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Demographic and psychographic drivers of public acceptance of novel invasive pest control technologies

F. Eppink, P. J. Walsh and E. MacDonald,  Ecology and Society,  26. 2021.
Invasive mammals are a primary threat to New Zealand's endemic species. In remote areas, aerial delivery of poison is the preferred method of pest management, although it faces some public backlash. Novel pest control technologies are currently being investigated as alternatives ...
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Designing gene drives to limit spillover to non-target populations

G. Greenbaum, M. W. Feldman, N. A. Rosenberg and J. Kim,  PLOS Genetics,  17:e1009278. 2021.
We develop mathematical models of gene-drive dynamics that incorporate migration between a target and non-target populations to investigate the possibility of effectively applying a gene drive in the target population while limiting its spillovers to the non-target population ...
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Scientifically framed gene drive communication perceived as credible but riskier

E. A. MacDonald, E. D. Edwards, J. Balanovic and F. Medvecky,  People and Nature,  2021.
Framing is a communication technique in which certain beliefs or values are emphasized that resonate with the target audience. Framing may increase how much people objectively think about new information and update their opinions; framing may mitigate emo
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A Code of Ethics for Gene Drive Research

G. J. Annas, C. L. Beisel, K. Clement, A. Crisanti, S. Francis, M. Galardini, R. Galizi, J. Grünewald, G. Immobile, A. S. Khalil, R. Müller, V. Pattanayak, K. Petri, L. Paul, L. Pinello, A. Simoni, C. Taxiarchi and J. K. Joung,  The CRISPR Journal,  2021.
A code of ethics can be a useful tool for all parties involved in the development and regulation of gene drives and can be used to help ensure that a balanced analysis of risks, benefits, and values is taken into consideration for the interest of society and humanity. We have ...
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Assisting Evolution: How Far Should We Go to Help Species Adapt?

E. Kolbert,  YaleEnvironment360,  2021.
It was a hot, intensely blue day in the Australian Outback, about 350 miles north of Adelaide. I was tagging along with Moseby as she checked the batteries on the motion-sensitive cameras that dot Arid Recovery, an ecosystem restoration project she and her husband launched in ...
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Should we dim the sun? Will we even have a choice

E. Klein,  New York Times,  2021.
“Under a White Sky” is going to be on my best books of 2021 list. It’s a wonderful work. Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sixth Extinction,” which you may have read. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and just one of the great science ...
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Grey squirrels: is birth control the solution to Britain’s invasive species problem?

J. Gilchrist,  The Conversation,  2021.
As with the UK’s other invasive species, such as rabbits, signal crayfish and Japanese knotweed, introducing the grey squirrel has proved to be an expensive mistake. Not only do grey squirrels displace red squirrels, they strip bark from trees. A recent report estimated that ...
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The Promises and Realities of Integration in Synthetic Biology: A View From Social Science

L. Carter and A. Mankad,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  8. 2021.
We take stock of thepromises and realities of science integration by sharing our experiences of embarking onthis very challenge in Australia. We conclude by offering suggestions for bringing aboutthe enabling conditions for improved integration across the natural and social ...
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CRISPR and the splice to survive: New gene-editing technology could be used to save species from extinction—or to eliminate them.

E. Kolbert,  New Yorker,  2021.
About a year ago, not long before the pandemic began, I paid a visit to the center, which is an hour southwest of Melbourne. The draw was an experiment on a species of giant toad known familiarly as the cane toad. The toad was introduced to Australia as an agent of pest control, ...
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The New Yorker Magazine: Gene Drives as a Tool for Saving Nature

E. Heber,  Island Conservation,  2021.
In a recent New Yorker Magazine article, entitled “CRISPR and the Splice to Survive,” journalist and best-selling author Elizabeth Kolbert dives into the world of gene drive research. She touches on aspects of gene drive research from altering the toxin produced by cane toads ...
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Invasive Species Control and Resolution of Wildlife Damage Conflicts: A Framework for Chemical and Genetically Based Management Methods

L. Clark, J. Eisemann, J. Godwin, K. E. Horak, K. Oh, J. O’Hare, A. Piaggio, K. Pepin and E. Ruell,  GMOs: Implications for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological Processes,  2020.
Vertebrate wildlife damage management relates to developing and employing methods to mitigate against damage caused by wildlife in the areas of food production, property damage, and animal or human health and safety. Of the many management tools available
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Gene drives, species, and compassion for individuals in conservation biology

Y. Rohwer,  Ethics, Policy and Environment,  2020.
In this paper I argue that these compassionate conservationists have a moral obligation to support the investigation and development of genetic modification technologies because of their potential to minimize suffering and eliminate killing in conservation. Furthermore, I will ...
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When Extinction is Warranted: Invasive Species, Suppression-Drives, and the Worst-Case Scenario

A. C. Thresher,  Ethics, Policy and Environment,  2020.
The focus of this paper is on one such risk ? the danger of a suppression-drive escaping containment and wiping out the target species globally. Here, I argue that in most cases this risk is significant enough to warrant holding off on the technology. In some cases, however, we ...
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Progress Toward Zygotic and Germline Gene Drives in Mice

C. Pfitzner, M. A. White, S. G. Piltz, M. Scherer, F. Adikusuma, J. N. Hughes and P. Q. Thomas,  The CRISPR Journal,  3:388-397. 2020.
Here, we investigated the efficiency of CRISPR-Cas9-based gene drives in Mus musculus by constructing "split drive" systems where gRNA expression occurs on a separate chromosome to Cas9, which is under the control of either a zygotic (CAG) or germline (Vasa) promoter.
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Microbiome Innovation in Agriculture: Development of Microbial Based Tools for Insect Pest Management

M. Qadri, S. Short, K. Gast, J. Hernandez and A. C.-N. Wong,  Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems,  4. 2020.
This review emphasizes the potential and use of microbes in sustainable insect pest management. We first review the diverse insect traits shaped by insect-microbe associations that span nutrition, immunity, ecological interactions with natural enemy, insecticide resistance, and ...
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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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Novel combination of CRISPR-based gene drives eliminates resistance and localises spread

N. R. Faber, G. R. McFarlane, R. C. Gaynor, I. Pocrnic, C. B. A. Whitelaw and G. Gorjanc,  bioRxiv,  2020.
We present HD-ClvR, a novel combination of CRISPR-based gene drives that eliminates resistance and localises spread. As a case study, we model HD-ClvR in the grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), which is an invasive pest in the UK and responsible for both biodiversity and ...
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Maintenance management and eradication of established aquatic invaders

D. Simberloff,  Hydrobiologia,  22. 2020.
The rapid development of technologies based on genetics has engendered excitement about possibly eradicating or controlling terrestrial invaders, and such technologies may also prove useful for certain aquatic invaders. Methods of particular interest, alone or in various ...
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Development of zygotic and germline gene drives in mice

C. Pfitzner, J. N. Hughes, M. A. White, M. Scherer, S. G. Piltz and P. Q. Thomas,  bioRxiv,  2020.
Here we investigated the efficiency of CRISPR/Cas9-based gene drives in Mus musculus by constructing "split drive" systems with Cas9 under the control of zygotic (CAG) or germline (Vasa) promoters.
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Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species

J. L. Teem, L. Alphey, S. Descamps, M. P. Edgington, O. Edwards, N. Gemmell, T. Harvey-Samuel, R. L. Melnick, K. P. Oh, A. J. Piaggio, J. R. Saah, D. Schill, P. Thomas, T. Smith and A. Roberts,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  8:452. 2020.
Invasive species are increasingly affecting agriculture, food, fisheries, and forestry resources throughout the world. As a result of global trade, invasive species are often introduced into new environments where they become established and cause harm to human health, ...
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Development of control and sterilization technology for bluegill by genome editing

M. A. Madsen,  Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi,  86:100-100. 2020.
This article is in Japanese
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What squirrels can teach us about why, when, and how to use gene drives

Rebecca Nesbit,  synbiobeta,  2020.
As the last ice age drew to a close, red squirrels made Britain their home. They adapted to a changing landscape and thrived as the UK’s only squirrel species. That all changed in 1876 when grey squirrels were introduced to England from North America as an ornamental species in ...
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Public Opinion Towards Gene Drive as a Pest Control Approach for Biodiversity Conservation and the Association of Underlying Worldviews

E. A. MacDonald, J. Balanovic, E. D. Edwards, W. Abrahamse, B. Frame, A. Greenaway, R. Kannemeyer, N. Kirk, F. Medvecky, T. L. Milfont, J. C. Russell and D. M. Tompkins,  Environmental Communication-a Journal of Nature and Culture,  15:1-16. 2020.
Synthetic gene drive approaches are nascent technologies with potential applicability for pest control for conservation purposes. Responsible science mandates that society be engaged in a dialogue over new technology, particularly where there exist global ramifications as with ...
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Regulation of GM Organisms for Invasive Species Control

H. J. Mitchell and D. Bartsch,  Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology,  7:1-11. 2020.
Invasive species can cause significant harm to the environment, agriculture, and human health, but there are often very limited tools available to control their populations. Gene drives (GD) have been proposed as a new tool which could be used to control or eliminate such ...
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Optimal control and analysis of a modified trojan Y-Chromosome strategy

M. A. Beauregard, R. D. Parshad, S. Boon, H. Conaway, T. Griffin and J. J. Lyu,  Ecological Modelling,  416. 2020.
The Trojan Y Chromosome (TYC) strategy is a promising eradication method that attempts to manipulate the female to male ratio to promote the reduction of the population of an invasive species. The manipulation stems from an introduction of sex-reversed males, called supermales, ...
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Metaphor, Trust and Support for Non-native Species Control

P. A. Kohl, S. J. Collins and M. Eichholz,  Environmental Communication,  14:672-685. 2020.
This experimental study used a representative sample of U.S. residents (N = 1,042) to test whether the use of the term "invasive" increases support for non-native species control efforts. The term invasive had a small influence on support for two out of three non-native species ...
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Genetic control of Invasive carp

MAISRC,  Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center,  2019.
This project focuses on a novel method of biocontrol for common carp which will complement existing technologies by introducing a synthetic species-like barrier to reproduction. Researchers will use programmable transcription activators to drive lethal embryonic overexpression of ...
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Biological control of pests and a social model of animal welfare

A. Mankad, U. Kennedy and L. Carter,  Journal of Environmental Management,  247:313-322. 2019.
We consider the role of perceived humaneness or, more accurately, animal welfare as it relates to managing invasive species from a scientific and social perspective. In order to highlight and articulate particular nuances and standards across different pest control contexts, we ...
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The association between mitochondrial genetic variation and reduced colony fitness in an invasive wasp

J. Dobelmann, A. Alexander, J. W. Baty, N. J. Gemmell, M. A. M. Gruber, O. Quinn, T. Wenseleers and P. J. Lester,  Molecular Ecology,  28:3324-3338. 2019.
Despite the mitochondrion's long-recognized role in energy production, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation commonly found in natural populations was assumed to be effectively neutral. However, variation in mtDNA has now been increasingly linked to phenotypic variation in life ...
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Genetic pest management technologies to control invasive rodents

D. Kanavy and D. Threadgill,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
Many strategies exist to manage invasive pests on islands, ranging from poison to trapping, with varying degrees of success. Genetic technologies are increasingly being applied to insect pests, but so far, not to vertebrates. We are implementing a genetic strategy to eradicate ...
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Trialling gene drives to control invasive species: what, where and how?

T. Harvey-Samuel, K. J. Campbell, M. Edgington and L. Alphey,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
The control of invasive species would be enhanced through the addition of novel, more effective and sustainable pest management methods. One control option yet to be trialled in the field is to deploy transgene-based ‘Gene Drives’: technologies which force the inheritance of ...
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Towards a genetic approach to invasive rodent eradications: assessing reproductive competitiveness between wild and laboratory mice

M. Serr, N. Heard and J. Godwin,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
House mice are significant invasive pests, particularly on islands without native mammalian predators. As part of a multi-institutional project aimed at suppressing invasive mouse populations on islands, we aim to create heavily male-biased sex ratios with the goal of causing the ...
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A potential new tool for the toolbox: assessing gene drives for eradicating invasive rodent populations

K. J. Campbell, J. R. Saah, P. R. Brown, J. Godwin, F. Gould, G. R. Howald, A. Piaggio, P. Thomas, D. M. Tompkins, D. Threadgill, J. Delborne, D. Kanavy, T. Kuiken, H. Packard, M. Serr and A. Shiels,  Island invasives: scaling up to meet the challenge,  2019.
Invasive rodents have significant negative impacts on island biodiversity. All but the smallest of rodent eradications currently rely on island-wide rodenticide applications. Although signifi cant advances have been made in mitigating unintended impacts, rodent eradication on ...
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Controlling invasive rodents via synthetic gene drive and the role of polyandry

Manser, AC, S. J.; Sutter, A.; Blondel, D. V.; Serr, M.; Godwin, J.; Price, T. A. R.,  Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences,  286:9. 2019.
House mice are a major ecosystem pest, particularly threatening island ecosystems as a non-native invasive species. Rapid advances in synthetic biology offer new avenues to control pest species for biodiversity conservation. Recently, a synthetic sperm-killing gene drive ...
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Invasion Success and Management Strategies for Social Vespula Wasps

P. J. Lester and J. R. Beggs,  Annual Review of Entomology,  64:51-71. 2018.
Three species of Vespula have become invasive in Australia, Hawai'i, New Zealand, and North and South America and continue to spread. Economically, their main negative effect is associated with pollination and the apicultural industry. Climate change is likely to exacerbate ...
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A sustainable synthetic biology approach for the control of the invasive golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei)

M. F. Rebelo, L. F. Afonso, J. A. Americo, L. da Silva, J. L. B. Neto, F. Dondero and Q. Zhang,  PeerJ Preprints,  6:e27164v3. 2018.
The recent development of the CRISPR-Cas9-based gene drive has created the conditions to seriously consider this technology to solve one of the major environmental challenges in biodiversity conservation i.e. the control of invasive species. There is no efficient control method ...
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Economic issues to consider for gene drives

P. D. Mitchell, Z. Brown and N. McRoberts,  Journal of Responsible Innovation,  5:S180-S202. 2018.
We examine four economic issues regarding gene drive applications made possible by gene editing technologies. The potentially substantial benefits, coupled with the technical, social, and economic uncertainties surrounding gene drives, suggest that a responsible course of action ...
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Identifying knowledge gaps for gene drive research to control invasive animal species: The next CRISPR step

Moro, DB, Margaret; Kennedy, Malcolm; Campbell, Susan; Tizard, Mark,  Global Ecology and Conservation,  13:e00363. 2018.
Invasive animals have been linked to the extinctions of native wildlife, and to significant agricultural financial losses or impacts. Current approaches to control invasive species require ongoing resources and management over large geographic scales, and often result in the ...
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Trojan Females and Judas Goats: Evolutionary Traps as Tools in Wildlife Management

B. A. Robertson, R. S. Ostfeld and F. Keesing,  Bioscience,  67:982-993. 2017.
Here, we bring together science from the pest-control, eco-evolutionary, and conservation communities to outline how evolutionary traps can be repurposed to eliminate or control pest species. We highlight case studies and devise strategies for the selection of appropriate cues to ...
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Could genetic engineering save the Galapagos?

S. S. Hall,  Scientific American,  2017.
Campbell has been working on eradications in the Galápagos since 1997, including a 2006 campaign to remove all the feral goats and donkeys from Floreana. A decade later he’s a project manager with Island Conservation, and the most ambitious project on its agenda is once again ...
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The potential for the use of gene drives for pest control in New Zealand: a perspective

P. K. Dearden, N. J. Gemmell, O. R. Mercier, P. J. Lester, M. J. Scott, R. D. Newcomb, T. R. Buckley, J. M. E. Jacobs, S. G. Goldson and D. R. Penman,  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,  48:225-244. 2017.
Here we describe the current state of gene drive technologies and present a series of examples to examine the potential benefits and problems arising from gene drive approaches for pest control in New Zealand.
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The sterile male release approach as a method to control invasive amphibian populations: a preliminary study on Lithobates catesbeianus

S. Descamps and A. De Vocht,  Management of Biological Invasions,  8:361-370. 2017.
Widespread populations of the invasive species Lithobates catesbeianus (American bullfrog) are present in different parts of the world and are difficult to control. This study investigated the possibility to sterilize male individuals of this species in order to use the sterile ...
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The optimal implementation of the Trojan Y chromosome eradication strategy of invasive species

M. R. Kelly and X. Y. Wang,  Journal of Biological Systems,  25:399-418. 2017.
Invasive aquatic species continue to be a persistent problem around the world. The Trojan Y Chromosome (TYC) eradication strategy has recently been developed to help fight the problem in aquatic systems by targeting only the invasive species, sparing native marine stock. It ...
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What’s the story with genetic pest management (GPM)?

K. Guthrie,  Predator Free NZ,  2017.
Breakthrough genetic technologies are likely to play a key role in achieving a predator-free future. But it’s important that we understand what the various technologies are now – as they’re being developed – not when they’re about to be implemented. We need to debate ...
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The use of gene editing to create gene drives for pest control in New Zealand

Royal Society Te Apārangi Gene Editing Panel,  Royal Society of New Zealand,  2017.
to explore the implications of gene editing technology for New Zealand, the Royal Society Te Apārangi has convened a multidisciplinary panel of some of New Zealand’s leading experts to consider the social, cultural, legal and economic implications of revolutionary ...
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Towards the genetic control of invasive species

Harvey-Samuel, TA, T.; Alphey, L.,  Biological Invasions,  19:1683-1703. 2017.
Invasive species remain one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Their control would be enhanced through the development of more effective and sustainable pest management strategies. Recently, a novel form of genetic pest management (GPM) has been developed in which ...
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Invertebrate Biosecurity Challenges in High-Productivity Grassland: The New Zealand Example

S. L. Goldson, B. I. P. Barratt and K. F. Armstrong,  Frontiers in Plant Science,  7. 2016.
This review explores the unique challenges faced by pasture biosecurity and what may be done to confront existing difficulties. While there is no silver bullet, and limited opportunity pre and at for improving pasture biosecurity, advancement may include increased and informed ...
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Stochastic models for the Trojan Y-Chromosome eradication strategy of an invasive species

X. Y. Wang, J. R. Walton and R. D. Parshad,  Journal of Biological Dynamics,  10:179-199. 2015.
The Trojan Y-Chromosome (TYC) strategy, an autocidal genetic bio-control method, has been proposed to eliminate invasive alien species. In this work, we develop a Markov jump process model for this strategy, and we verify that there is a positive probability for wild-type females ...
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Genetic Engineering to the Rescue Against Invasive

K. Langin,  National Geographic,  2014.