Thursday, June 9, 2016

Gene Drives


Hubris?

Excerpted from The New York Times:

Amy Harmon. June 8, 2016. Panel Endorses ‘Gene Drive’ Technology That Can Alter Entire Species. The New York times, http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/09/science/national-academies-sciences-gene-drive-technology.html?emc=edit_th_20160609&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=32962000&_r=0

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 Wednesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, the premier advisory group for the federal government on scientific matters, endorsed continued research on the technology, concluding after nearly a yearlong study that while it poses risks, its possible benefits make it crucial to pursue. The group also set out a path to conducting what it called “carefully controlled field trials,” despite what some scientists say is the substantial risk of inadvertent release into the environment....


Read the entire article linked above.


3 comments:

  1. Nice. Another fascinating thing from Pandora's Box. Everything in nature has its role to play even malaria carrying mosquitoes. What a tool in the hands of eugenicists.

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  2. Goofballs flying halfway across the world regularly in gas-guzzling jets to study mosquitos, while griping about global warming. Meanwhile, everything is turning to radioactive, primordial soup. It is a bad cosmic joke.

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  3. A drunken goose has more common sense and survival tactics.

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