AUS – ‘GENE DRIVE’ DISCUSSION PAPER RELEASED
02 May 2017. Source: Media Release Australian Academy of Sciences
‘Evolution-bending’ gene editing technology—do the potential benefits outweigh the risks?
‘Gene drive’ technology allows scientists to manipulate the DNA of small plants or animals in a way that forces or ‘drives’ inheritance of particular genetic traits and characteristics to successive generations. The technology could wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitos, cane toads or other pests and plant diseases within years, but like any new technology, has potential risks.
Before gene drives are used in Australia, and before they start being used at scale elsewhere in the world, it’s important to consider the applications that are of most benefit and the risks associated with those applications. Once gene drives are released into wild populations in other countries, they will inevitably reach Australia.
This discussion paper will stimulate Australian governments and communities to consider the issues now.