National Academies approves gene drive research with cautious optimism

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

A revolutionary technology known as “gene drive,” which for the first time gives humans the power to alter or perhaps eliminate entire populations of organisms in the wild, has stirred both excitement and fear since scientists proposed a means to construct it two years ago.

Scientists dream of deploying gene drive, for example, to wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitoes that cause the deaths of 300,000 African children each year, or invasive rodents that damage island ecosystems. But some experts have warned that the technique could lead to unforeseen harm to the environment. Some scientists have called on the federal government to regulate it, and some environmental watchdogs have called for a moratorium.

On June 8, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine endorsed continued research on the technology.

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The science has attracted intense interest from governments, nonprofit organizations and research institutes eager to explore its possibilities for public health, agriculture and environmental conservation, and the report seems likely to open the door to more funding for such efforts.

Read full, original post: Panel Endorses ‘Gene Drive’ Technology That Can Alter Entire Species

 

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