07 Feb 2018
Engineering ecosystems: For gene drive, local really is better
14 Feb 2018
Doherty Institute Auditorium
Hosted by the School of Biomedical Sciences, Dr Kevin Esvelt from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology will speak to “Engineering ecosystems: For gene drive, local really is better”
Advances in CRISPR-based gene drive systems may enable populations of wild organisms to be altered to benefit human and environmental health. Unfortunately, even inefficient self-propagating gene drives are likely to spread to most populations of the target species. Unauthorized spread would severely damage public confidence, likely delaying applications that could save many human lives and rescue animals from extinction and suffering. “Daisy drive” and other self-exhausting drive systems are localized in that they cannot spread indefinitely, but like normal engineered genes, they can still migrate across borders. To develop gene drive into an effective and ethical tool for most applications, we will need to develop “daisy threshold” drives that can efficiently alter or suppress the target population while being actively eliminated in other areas. Such an advance may also enable the precise removal of any or all engineered genes from local environments.
Please refer all enquiries to Carlos Campanero Martin.