Gene Drive Supplement

Gene Drive Research Makes Exceptional Progress

March 30, 2022

University of California San Diego professor Ethan Bier wrote a review on the remarkable progress made in the field of CRISPR-Cas9-based gene-drive systems. The full article is published in Nature Reviews Genetics.

Gene drives can be defined as "selfish genetic elements that are transmitted to progeny at super-Mendelian (>50%) frequencies”. Recently developed CRISPR-Cas9 gene-drive systems have been shown to be efficient in laboratory settings, with the potential to reduce the pervasiveness of vector-borne diseases, crop pests, and non-native invasive species. The highlights of the review article are as follows:

  • Gene drive approaches have the potential to deliver anti-malarial effectors or reduce the numbers of disease-transmitting mosquitoes significantly.
  • Flexible add-on trailers could update or expand the range of the original drives.
  • One of the challenges currently facing the gene drive field is to get regulatory and community approval to test the systems in natural confined environments such as isolated islands.
  • Each drive system must design a detailed target–product profile, to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Read the review article in Nature Reviews Genetics.

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