What is the difference between natural and synthetic gene drive?

Categories: Gene Drive Description, Gene Drive Mechanisms

Gene drive is a process that promotes or favors the inheritance of certain genes from one generation to the next. Since the early 20th century, scientists have discovered several types of “selfish genetic elements” that are present naturally in the genomes of many species. These naturally occurring genetic elements are able to enhance their own transmission relative to the rest of the genes in the genome regardless of whether their presence is neutral or even harmful to the individual organism as a whole, and thus they exhibit drive and are called “natural gene drives.” Examples of natural gene drives include homing endonuclease genes found in all forms of microbial life, transposable elements found in many plants and animals, and meiotic drive also found in various plants and animals.

Synthetic gene drives utilize techniques of modern molecular biotechnology to achieve effects similar to those seen with natural gene drives in a wider range of organisms. Thus organisms carrying synthetic gene drive(s) are considered genetically engineered/modified, though the synthetic drive mechanism they carry may function very comparably to a natural gene drive. Synthetic gene drives can be used to introduce new traits into a population of organisms, such as mosquitoes or mice, over just a few generations.

For more information:https://www.geneconvenevi.org/types-of-gene-drive/


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