Are gene drives irreversible?

Category: Gene Drive Description

No. There are different types of gene drive, and some are built to lose their effect over a period of time (self-limiting drives). In this case, the modification is expected to disappear from the population in the absence of repeated releases of the gene drive-modified organism. Another type is described as “self-sustaining,” in which the heritable modification is intended to become stably established within interbreeding populations of the target species. This type has elicited concerns about irreversibility of population level effects. However, scientists currently are working on ways to halt or reverse the effects of such drives. While these methods have not yet been perfected, this is a recognized need and an active subject of research. (Also see “What do we know about gene drive hazards.”)

For more information:

Did you find this FAQ helpful?

Leave a Reply