Are gene drives a new technology?

Category: Gene Drive Safety

No. Gene drive occurs frequently in nature irrespective of human intervention. Gene drive technologies being investigated today are the direct descendants of ideas and technologies that first emerged during the middle of the 20th century and which have been under investigation since then. For example, in 1947, Vanderplank tested use of a naturally-occurring gene drive system to control a species of tsetse fly for prevention of African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). What is newer is our ability to mimic natural drive systems using techniques of molecular biology.

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