Keywords: policy

Oxitec and MosquitoMate in the United States: lessons for the future of gene drive mosquito control

C. E. Schairer, J. Najera, A. A. James, O. S. Akbari and C. S. Bloss,  Pathogens and Global Health,  2021.
ABSTRACTIn response to growing concerns regarding mosquito-borne diseases, scientists are developing novel systems of vector control. Early examples include Oxitec?s OX513A genetically-engineered mosquito and MosquitoMate?s Wolbachia-infected mosquito, and systems using ...
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Risk management recommendations for environmental releases of gene drive modified insects

Y. Devos, J. D. Mumford, M. B. Bonsall, D. C. M. Glandorf and H. D. Quemada,  Biotechnology Advances,  2021.
The ability to engineer gene drives (genetic elements that bias their own inheritance) has sparked enthusiasm and concerns. Engineered gene drives could potentially be used to address long-standing challenges in the control of insect disease vectors, agricultural pests and ...
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Gene Drives – Engineering the Wild

L. Sharratt,  Sentinel,  2021.
So far, genetically engineered organisms have been mostly limited to agricultural use, with partial success. Around the world, a few major crops (mostly corn, soy, and cotton) are genetically engineered, predominantly for herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. However, the ...
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Earth system interventions as technologies of the Anthropocene

J. L. Reynolds,  Environmental Innovation and Societal Transitions,  40:132-146. 2021.
Earth system interventions (ESIs)—intentional large-scale interventions in Earth systems—are not entirely new. However, in response to threats to sustainability, particularly from climate change and biodiversity loss, some scientists and others are researching, developing, ...
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Africa Turning to Gene Drive Technology for Malaria Elimination

M. Hearty,  Science Africa,  2021.
With Africa accounting for nine out of ten malaria cases globally, the continent is turning to gene drive technology to control the disease. This is according to a decision made by African leaders at the 29th Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union held in ...
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West African countries working together to develop framework to regulate genetically engineered mosquitos: Target Malaria

Anonymous,  Global News,  2021.
Abdoulaye Diabaté, principal investigator for Target Malaria, says West African countries like Burkina Faso, Mali and Benin are working with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to develop a pan-West African framework to regulate gene drive mosquitos.
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Potential use of gene drive modified insects against disease vectors, agricultural pests and invasive species poses new challenges for risk assessment

Y. Devos, J. D. Mumford, M. B. Bonsall, A. M. Camargo, L. G. Firbank, D. C. M. Glandorf, F. Nogué, K. Paraskevopoulos and E. A. Wimmer,  Critical Reviews in Biotechnology,  2021.
Potential future application of engineered gene drives (GDs), which bias their own inheritance and can spread genetic modifications in wild target populations, has sparked both enthusiasm and concern. Engineered GDs in insects could potentially be used to address long-standing ...
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‘Nigeria has capacity for safe application of modern biotechnology’

M. Adewale,  The Guardian,  2021.
Director-general of the National Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA), Dr. Rufus Ebegba, has declared that Nigeria has the capacity to deploy safe biotechnology products for agricultural development and environmental safety. Ebegba, who gave the assurance at the opening of a ...
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European Parliament calls for ban on gene drive technology

Save Our Seeds,  Save Our Seeds,  2021.
The European Parliament yesterday confirmedi it‘s precautionary stance towards the use of a new genetic engineering technology called gene drive. In its report on the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, adopted at the European Parliament’s plenary on 08.06.2021, ...
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Living With the Limits of Our New Clerisy’s Knowledge

R. Fernandez,  PJ Media,  2021.
We are living in a strange time when reason has fallen short of human expectations and there is, once again, pressure to place our trust in faith. Leighton Woodhouse hit the nail on the head when he argued that we have appointed a New Clerisy to rule over us, not because they are ...
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African Experts Welcome WHO Guidance on Ethics, Standards, and Governance of Genetically Modified Mosquito Research

E. Nakkazi,  Health Policy Watch,  2021.
Researchers engaged in mosquito gene drive technologies are optimistic that new World Health Organization (WHO) guidance on best research practices will ensure that their work is safe and ethical. Such guidance also helps research results advance from laboratories to be used in ...
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What is wrong in extinguishing a species? Charting the Ethical Challenges of using Gene-Drive Technologies to eradicate A. gambiae vector populations

M. Annoni and T. Pievani,  Biolaw Journal-Rivista Di Biodiritto,  2021.
This article analyses three ethical arguments against the use of gene-drive technologies to control for, and possibly extinguish, a particular species of vector mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae) causing the malaria infection. We conclude that none of these arguments is truly ...
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WHO releases new guidance for deployment of genetically modified mosquitoes

E. Henderson,  News Medical Life Sciences,  2021.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidance for the deployment of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to combat vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue. GM mosquitoes may carry a gene that kills female progeny and the technology can be used against the ...
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Q&A: WHO updates guidance on testing genetically modified mosquitoes

E. N. Dreisbach,  Healio,  2021.
Researchers have been exploring the use of genetically modified mosquitos as a potential control method for vector-borne diseases. Just last month, Oxitec began releasing its genetically modified (GM), self-limiting male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in the Florida Keys in the hope of ...
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Why the EU should back research into gene drive – even if Europe never uses it

R. Müller,  The Brussels Times,  2021.
As the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy reaches the European Parliament, it has reopened a worrying debate about research into gene drive technology, a tool which could pave the way for biasing the inheritance of desired genetic traits through targeted species. Advances in this kind ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes; WHO issues new guidance for research

DTE Staff,  Down To Earth,  2021.
Genetically-modified mosquitoes or GMMs have been used across the world to control mosquitoes. GMMs have been able to bring down the population of the Aedes aegypti by 90 per cent in countries like Brazil, the Cayman Islands, Panama and Malaysia. But there have never been any ...
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WHO issues new guidance for research on genetically modified mosquitoes to fight malaria and other vector-borne diseases

WHO,  reliefweb,  2021.
New guidance from the World Health Organization (WHO) sets essential standards to inform future research and development on genetically modified mosquitoes, particularly in addressing issues relating to ethics, safety, affordability and effectiveness. Malaria and other ...
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Guidance framework for testing of genetically modified mosquitoes, second edition

WHO,  WHO-TDR,  2021.
For more than 2 decades, scientists have been working to harness the promise of molecular biology to develop genetically modified mosquitoes (GMMs) for use as public health tools to prevent the transmission of vector-borne diseases. Responding to a need for additional standards ...
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The legal regulation of gene drive technologies

C. Elves,  Univeristy of Oxford,  2021.
Gene drive technologies purport to provide a panacea and yet in doing so present unprecedented risks that threaten to change, potentially irreversibly, the way in which we live in the world. Gene drive technologies raise questions about what ends societies ought to seek for their ...
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Driving genetic destruction

Anonymous,  Alliance for Natural Health,  2021.
Genetically-engineered (GE) mosquitoes have been released in a number of countries, including the US. We’ve known for some time that these experiments have not gone to plan, but a new paper provides a better understanding of how they’ve went awry, and provides a harrowing ...
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Selection of Sites for Field Trials of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes with Gene Drive

G. C. Lanzaro, M. Campos, M. Crepeau, A. Cornel, A. Estrada, H. Gripkey, Z. Haddad, A. Kormos, S. Palomares and W. Sharpee,  bioRxiv,  2021.04.28.441877. 2021.
Novel malaria control strategies using genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEMs) are on the horizon. Population modification is one approach wherein mosquitoes are engineered with genes rendering them refractory to the malaria parasite coupled with a low-threshold, Cas9-based gene ...
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Fighting mosquitoes with mosquitoes

W. Feng,  The Daily Targum,  2021.
When you think about the animal that has killed the greatest number of humans in the world, you generally tend to think of large predators. Is it perhaps the great white shark or maybe the cute but deadly hippopotamus? While these animals are certainly deadly, the number of ...
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CRISPR-Cas and Its Wide-Ranging Applications: From Human Genome Editing to Environmental Implications, Technical Limitations, Hazards and Bioethical Issues

R. Piergentili, A. Del Rio, F. Signore, F. U. Ronchi, E. Marinelli and S. Zaami,  Cells,  10:24. 2021.
The CRISPR-Cas system is a powerful tool for in vivo editing the genome of most organisms, including man. During the years this technique has been applied in several fields, such as agriculture for crop upgrade and breeding including the creation of allergy-free foods, for ...
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Oxitec Receives Landmark Biosafety Approval for New Fall Armyworm Control Solution

Oxitec,  Oxitec,  2021.
Approval of Oxitec’s Friendly™ fall armyworm technology by the Brazilian government’s regulatory agency CTNBio confirms that it is safe for people, animals and the environment. Oxitec’s Friendly™ fall armyworm is a new, safe, and sustainable solution to one of the ...
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Experimenting with co-development: a qualitative study of gene drive research for malaria control in Mali

S. Hartley, K. Ledingham, R. Owen, S. Leonelli, S. Diarra and S. Diop,  Social Science and Medicine,  2021.
Our findings suggest co-development is opening up previously expert-dominated spaces as researchers attempt to take responsibility for the societal implications of their work. However, its main function is as a project management tool to enable and instrumentally support ...
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Ethics of Genome Editing

European Group on Ethics,  European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies,  2021.
This Opinion addresses the profound ethical questions raised and revived by them. It analyses various domains of application, from human health to animal experimentation, from livestock breeding to crop variety and to gene drives. With its wide view across areas, it identifies ...
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The ethical scientist in a time of uncertainty

L. Zoloth,  Cell,  184:1430-1439. 2021.
Using the example of gene drives for malaria control to explore the problem of deep uncertainty in biomedical research, I argue that profound uncertainty is an essential feature. Applying the language and presumptions of the discipline of philosophical ethics, I describe three ...
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Experts’ moral views on gene drive technologies: a qualitative interview study

N. de Graeff, K. R. Jongsma and A. L. Bredenoord,  BMC Medical Ethics,  22:25. 2021.
Gene drive technologies (GDTs) promote the rapid spread of a particular genetic element within a population of non-human organisms. Potential applications of GDTs include the control of insect vectors, invasive species and agricultural pests. Whether, and if so, under what ...
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The science & ethics of gene drive technology from a conservation & development perspective

Renew Europe,  Renew Europe,  2021.
This hearing intends to examine gene-drive technology and its possible impacts, including unintended ones and reveal the complexity of an unknown technology with inherent uncertainties. Scientists from different backgrounds in the field of gene-drive research will present most ...
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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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GeneConvene Webinar Series on: Ecological Modeling in Risk Assessment of Gene Drives

Hector Quemada and David O'Brochta,  ,  2021.
Unlike non-gene drive organisms, which can be limited in time and space and therefore provide data in small scale tests that can be relevant to large scale releases, the potential for large-scale spread from a limited release, even in well-isolated trials, means that reliance on ...
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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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Public attitudes towards synthetic biology

CSIRO,  Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform,  2021.
A national survey has been conducted by CSIRO’s Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform as an important first step in measuring public attitudes towards synthetic biology. The survey draws on the views of more than 8,000 Australians, and researchers are examining the data to ...
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How to engage communities on a large scale? Lessons from World Mosquito Program in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil [version 2; peer review: 1 approved, 2 approved with reservations]

G. B. Costa, R. Smithyman, S. L. O'Neill and L. A. Moreira,  Gates Open Research,  2021.
Here we discuss and analyse the framework for community engagement implemented by the WMP in Brazil, during the large-scale deployment of the method in the municipalities of Niterói and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Our experience indicates that the community engagement work for ...
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Les Européens très critiques vis-à-vis du forçage génétique

L. Duboua-Lorsch,  EURACTIV,  2021.
Cette technique, qui vise à éradiquer ou modifier certaines espèces dites nuisibles, sera au cœur des négociations cette année, alors que se profile la COP15 sur la biodiversité. maginez un monde débarrassé d’insectes porteurs de maladies, de parasites agricoles, ...
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GENE DRIVE ACCEPTANCE SURVEY

YouGov,  Pollinis,  2021.
This representative survey was conducted by the international market research institute YouGov and polled 8.826 citizens from 8 EU countries in December 2020. It was commissioned by WeMove Europe, Save Our Seeds (Germany), Skiftet (Sweden), France Nature Environnement (FNE) ...
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Playing God and tampering with nature: popular labels for real concerns in synthetic biology

L. Carter, A. Mankad, E. V. Hobman and N. B. Porter,  Transgenic Research,  2021.
We present the findings from a large Australian study (N = 4593) which suggests ‘playing God’ objections and their variants can be multilayered and, at times, accompanied by meaningful information about risk perceptions. We use qualitative analysis of ope
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RNAi-based products: A sustainable alternative to hazardous pesticides

Ghent University,  Phys Org,  2021.
RNAi-based biocontrol is a great alternative to hazardous pesticides and can contribute towards reversing the alarming decline in farmland birds and beneficial insects (especially pollinating ones). RNAi is a well-known natural biological process in most
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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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Exploring Gene Drive Technologies in Agriculture, Biodiversity and Human Disease

The GBIRd Partnership and The GeneConvene Global Collaborative,  Gene Drive Research Forum,  2021.
The GBIRd Partnership and The GeneConvene Global Collaborative recently collaborated through The Gene Drive Research Forum, to create and produce an engaging conversation between Drs. Fred Gould and Charles Godfray about gene drive technologies – the potential benefits and ...
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Next-generation tools to control biting midge populations and reduce pathogen transmission

P. Shults, L. W. Cohnstaedt, Z. N. Adelman and C. Brelsfoard,  Parasites and Vectors,  14:31. 2021.
Biting midges of the genus Culicoides transmit disease-causing agents resulting in a significant economic impact on livestock industries in many parts of the world. Localized control efforts, such as removal of larval habitat or pesticide application, can be logistically ...
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Conservation pest control with new technologies: public perceptions

E. A. MacDonald, M. B. Neff, E. Edwards, F. Medvecky and J. Balanovic,  Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand,  2021.
We conducted eleven focus groups in New Zealand to explore three questions about novel technologies (gene drive and two others for comparison of pest control tools): (1) what are the risks/benefits? (2) how do they compare to current methods? and (3) who should be represented on ...
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Application of the Relationship-Based Model to Engagement for Field Trials of Genetically Engineered Malaria Vectors

A. Kormos, G. C. Lanzaro, E. Bier, G. Dimopoulos, J. M. Marshall, J. Pinto, A. Aguiar dos Santos, A. Bacar, H. Sousa Pontes Sacramento Rompão and A. A. James,  The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene,  2020.
Although guidelines and recommendations for engagement for gene drives have recently been described, we argue here that communities and stakeholders should lead the planning, development, and implementation phases of engagement. The RBM provides a new approach to the development ...
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New GE unintentionally leaves traces in cells

C. Then,  Testbiotech,  2020.
A new scientific publication shows that CRISPR/Cas gene scissor applications in animals unintentionally leave traces. The findings are not related to unintended changes in the DNA, which have often been described, but to gene regulation, i.e. epigenetics. The effects are ...
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Core commitments for field trials of gene drive organisms

K. C. Long, L. Alphey, G. J. Annas, C. S. Bloss, K. J. Campbell, J. Champer, C.-H. Chen, A. Choudhary, G. M. Church, J. P. Collins, K. L. Cooper, J. A. Delborne, O. R. Edwards, C. I. Emerson, K. Esvelt, S. W. Evans, R. M. Friedman, V. M. Gantz, F. Gould,,  Science,  370:1417-1419. 2020.
While field trials of gene drive organisms (GDOs) ultimately will depend on public policy decisions, those engaged in GDO work can play critical roles in support of these decisions by generating evidence and developing evaluation strategies in fair and effective partnerships with ...
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Scientists paved the way for field trials of gene-driven organisms

K. Winslet,  FLORIDA News Times,  2020.
The recent rise of gene drive research, accelerated by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology, has brought about a wave of transformation throughout science.Developed with selected traits that have been genetically engineered to spread throughout the population, Gene Drive ...
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Technical Support to Burkina Faso on Gene Drive Stage 2 Dossier Review

AUDA-NEPAD,  AUDA-NEPAD,  2020.
AUDA-NEPAD in partnership with the National Biosafety Agency (ANB) in Burkina Faso organised a training workshop to support to the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) on stage 2 dossier review, on December 3 – 5, 2020, in Bobo-Dioulasso, Burkina Faso. In addition to the NBC ...
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Gene Drive-Modified Organisms: Developing Practical Risk Assessment Guidance

Y. Devos, M. B. Bonsall, L. G. Firbank, J. Mumford, F. Nogué and E. A. Wimmer,  Trends in Biotechnology,  2020.