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Will evolution eventually undo effects on ecosystem of gene drives?

| | September 14, 2016

[A]t New York’s Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory[,] Philipp Messer…took the stage to discuss a powerful and controversial new application for genetic engineering: gene drives.

Messer’s presentation highlighted a potential snag for plans to engineer wild ecosystems: Nature usually finds a way around our meddling…Mosquitoes and invasive species reprogrammed with gene drives can be expected to adapt as well, especially if the gene drive is harmful to the organism—it’ll try to survive by breaking the drive.

“In the long run, even with a gene drive, evolution wins in the end,” said Kevin Esvelt….

According to Messer, his [mathematical] model suggests “resistance will evolve almost inevitably in standard gene drive systems.”

“What we found was [the effects of CRISPR are]…dependent on two things: the non-homologous end-joining rate and the population size,” said Robert Unckless…“If you can’t get non-homologous end joining under control, resistance is inevitable. But resistance could take a while to spread, which means you might be able to achieve whatever goal you want to achieve.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: When Evolution Fights Back Against Genetic Engineering

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Click the link above to read the full, original article.
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