Gene Drive Research – Exploring the Undiscovered Country

by Guest Blogger,
Tyler Kokjohn, Ph.D.

HamletScientists writing research proposals devote a great deal of effort to divining the future.  Outlining for peer reviewers the actions they intend to follow, the investigators also specify how they will avoid foreseeable pitfalls and the measures they will use to ensure their work will be conducted safely and ethically.  Sometimes the work actually proceeds as originally planned.

A recent report from the U. S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine on gene drive research notes their possible environmental impacts and risks are not understood (1).  While suggesting the potential benefits warrant continuing gene drive research and field trials, the authors noted their unique dangers and called for more work before any releases are considered.  Testing gene drives for safety and efficacy will be an involved process and although the National Academy endorsed the open…

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