Keywords: perspective

The ethical way to alter organisms

K. Esvelt,  Boston Globe,  2020.
As my colleagues and I first described in 2014, we can use CRISPR genome editing to duplicate the most powerful form of “gene drive,” a ubiquitous natural phenomenon that happens when a genetic change is inherited more frequently than usual. Encode the CRISPR machinery next ...
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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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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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Fighting malaria with genetically modified mosquitoes

E. Nakkazi,  BMJ,  370:m2172. 2020.
Could a bold project to genetically engineer mosquitoes curb the scourge of malaria in Africa? Finding out will require careful science—and public acceptance, writes Esther Nakkazi
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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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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 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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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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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 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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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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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 drive tested in mice – Expert Reaction

Science Media Centre,  Science Media Centre,  2019.
Using CRISPR genome editing, the researchers developed a process to make a gene more likely to be inherited than by chance alone. Their attempts with male mice were unsuccessful, but when it was used in females they increased the inheritance of the desired gene from 50 per cent ...
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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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La reacción genética en cadena llega a los mamíferos

Mediavilla, D,  El Pais,  2019.
Un experimento muestra que la edición de los genes puede introducir cambios en especies completas que permitan incluso su extinción en un área geográfica
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Scientists rewrite mice DNA so genes can be spread through species

Sample, I,  The Guardian,  2019.
Controversial procedure has huge potential to combat diseases such as malaria
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Gene drive mosquitoes and the new era of medical colonialism

Mayet, MC, L. I.; Sirinathsingji, E,  GM Watch,  2019.
The highly contentious issue of gene drive technologies – a novel extreme form of genetic engineering designed to alter or even eradicate entire populations and species – was at the heart of the international negotiations at the biennial UN Biodiversity Conference held in ...
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Gene driving the farm: who decides, who owns, and who benefits?

Montenegro de Wit, M,  Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems,  43:1054-1074. 2019.
This commentary essay explores the social and ecological implications of gene-driving agriculture.
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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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Next-generation CRISPR-based gene drive supports genetic editing with selective precision

Anonymous,  International Sugar Journal,  121:411-412. 2019.
New CRISPR-based gene drives and broader active genetics technologies are revolutionizing the way scientists engineer the transfer of specific traits from one generation to another.
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Africans paid 69 cents an hour to be bitten in GMO mosquito trial

GM Watch,  GMWatch,  2018.
Under the headline, Malaria trial pays Africans to be bitten, The Times of London reports that human “guinea pigs” in the West African state of Burkina Faso are being paid to expose themselves to mosquitoes that could potentially carry malaria or other diseases. ; ; Although ...
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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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Burkina Faso’s mosquito controversy: Consent, awareness and risk assessment in Target Malaria’s gene drive project

Fuhr, L,  Klima der Gerechtigkeit,  2018.
The 14th Conference of the Parties (COP 14) to the Convention on Biological Diversity is taking place in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, from the 17th to the 29th of November, 2018. Amongst other things, delegates are discussing a moratorium on the release of gene drives, a powerful ...
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Genetic extinction technology challenged at UN Convention on biodiversity

reporter, A,  Ekklesia,  2018.
From November 17-29 2018, international conservation and environmental leaders are meeting to call on governments to protect biodiversity and Indigenous Peoples’ and local communities’ rights from controversial new biotechnologies. Friends of the Earth says gene drives have ...
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Viewpoint: UN should reject a proposed ban on gene drives

Bailey, R,  Genetic Literacy Project,  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 ...
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Global body to consider moratorium on release of organisms with engineered ‘gene drives’

Channel, D,  Development Channel,  2018.
Governments from across the globe will consider imposing a temporary ban on the release of organisms carrying altered genes that can propagate through a population, as the consequence of deployment of the technology, which has the potential to eradicate disease, control pests and ...
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Zambian citizens call on leaders to raise concerns on GMOs at upcoming meeting in Egypt

Biodiversity, ZAfAa,  Lusakatimes,  2018.
Zambia supports the global call for a moratorium on Gene Drive releases, including applied research such as open field trials
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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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Call for a global moratorium on gene drive releases

Network, TW,  Biosafety Information Centre,  2018.
Gene drives are a genetic engineering tool that aim to force artificial genetic changes through entire populations of animals, insects and plants. Starting on the 17th of November, Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity will meet to discuss measures to ...
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United Nations considers a test ban on evolution-warping gene drives

Regalado, A,  MIT Technology Review,  2018.
Debate over a new idea for stopping malaria is pitting some environmental groups against Bill Gates.
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Do not betray Africa on synbio and gene drives

etc group,  etc group,  2018.
As representatives of a broad range of African civil society organisations (CSOs), we do not feel represented by the delegations of Nigeria and South Africa, speaking on behalf of African Group, in their attempt to speak on behalf of the people of Africa on the issue of synthetic ...
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African Union’s endorsement of unproven gene drive mosquitoes “misguided”

GM Watch,  GMWatch,  2018.
The African Union (AU) is paving the way for the entry of the latest and most controversial form of genetic engineering – gene drive technologies. In July 2018 the AU released a report endorsing the development of the technology as well as "enabling legislation" for their ...
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Scientists near malaria elimination

Muanya, C,  The Guardian,  2018.
Scientists are getting closer in efforts to eliminate malaria with new genetic engineering tool. Scientists have devised a gene drive that wiped out the mosquito’s populations in lab tests. They say gene editing may push a species of malaria-carrying mosquito to extinction.
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GM mosquitoes in Burkina Faso: Scientists hope to end malaria with genetically modified mosquitoes

TimesNowNews,  TimesNow,  2018.
Scientists are determined that the release of the genetically engineered mosquitoes in Africa will help eradicate malaria in the region that kills nearly three million people worldwide every year.
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Just Say No to Agricultural Gene Drives

Bassey-Orovwuje, M.,  Project Syndicate,  2018.
By forcing laboratory-made genes on an entire population or species, cutting-edge gene-drive technologies have the power to transform entire ecosystems in one fell swoop. But where leading industrial agriculture firms see dollar signs, farmers in the regions where gene drives ...
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Gene drive organisms: German ministry warns of risks from releases

GM Watch,  GMWatch,  2018.
The German Ministry for the Environment has, in response to an open letter sent by several civil society organisations, issued a statement very critical of genetically engineered organisms carrying a so-called gene drive. The ministry announced that it will take action on an ...
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Gene drive organisms: Warning of risks due to uncontrolled releases

Then, C,  Testbiotech,  2018.
The German Ministry for the Environment has in response to an open letter sent by several civil society organisations issued a statement very critical of genetically engineered organisms carrying a so-called gene drive. The ministry announced that it will take action on an ...
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Forcing the Farm

etc group,  etc group,  2018.
This report is being issued as an alert to governments, civil society organisations and grassroots movements. It points to how gene drives, while promoted as a tool for medicine and conservation, will find their real use in food and farming by agribusiness. It calls for a pause ...
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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 accelerate evolution – but we need brakes

Tsai, Y-HP, Tony,  The Conversation,  2018.
Worried about mice in the kitchen? Fed up with pigeons on your way to work? Teed off by weeds on your lawn? Recent work points to a way that might just reduce – or even eliminate – unwanted species in a short period. The method is based on something called a gene drive – a ...
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Gene drive technology considered in the fight to save native animals from feral cats

Smail, S,  ABC News Online,  2018.
Feral cats kill thousands of native animals every minute — now a controversial plan to use gene drive technology as a weapon against them is being considered by the Federal Government
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Gene drive gets safety features limiting risk for a tool that could alter entire species

Collins, CH,  Scientific American,  319:37-38. 2018.
Research into a genetic engineering technology that can permanently change the traits of a population or even an entire species is progressing rapidly. The approach uses gene drives—genetic elements that pass from parents to unusually high numbers of their offspring, thereby ...
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Editing nature: Local roots of global governance

Kofler, NC, 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; Schmitz, Oswald J.,  Science,  362:527. 2018.
The end of malaria. Restored island habitats. Resiliency for species threatened by climate change. Many envisioned environmental applications of newly developed gene-editing techniques such as CRISPR might provide profound benefits for ecosystems and society. But depending on the ...
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‘Gene Drives’ Are Too Risky for Field Trials, Scientists Say

Zimmer, C,  New York Times,  2017.
In 2013, scientists discovered a new way to precisely edit genes — technology called Crispr that raised all sorts of enticing possibilities. Scientists wondered if it might be used to fix hereditary diseases, for example, or to develop new crops.; ; One of the more intriguing ...
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National Academies hit the brakes on gene drive-modified organisms

Abbasi, J.,  JAMA-Journal of the American Medical Association,  316:482-483. 2016.
Despite their potential for fighting Zika, malaria, and other public health scourges, organisms that have been engineered to quickly spread genetic modifications through a population—and possibly an entire species—are not ready for release into the wild, a committee of ...
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Playing God with mosquitoes? We humans have loftier aims.

Pugh, J,  The Conversation,  2015.
In a startling development in “gene-drive” technology, a team of researchers at the University of California has succeeded in creating genetically modified mosquitoes incapable of spreading the malaria parasite to humans, and which could potentially spread this trait rapidly ...
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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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Concerning RNA-guided gene drives for the alteration of wild populations

Esvelt, KMS, Andrea L.; Catteruccia, Flaminia; Church, George M.,  eLife,  3:e03401. 2014.
Gene drives may be capable of addressing ecological problems by altering entire; populations of wild organisms, but their use has remained largely theoretical due to technical; constraints. Here we consider the potential for RNA-guided gene drives based on the CRISPR; nuclease ...
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Big Agriculture eyeing genetic tool for pest control

PTI Feed,  India,  2008.
A controversial and unproven gene-editing technology touted as a silver bullet against malaria-bearing mosquitos could wind up being deployed first in commercial agriculture, according to experts and an NGO report published Tuesday.; ; So-called “gene drives” force ...
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