World-first Gene Drive Technology to Suppress Invasive MiceDecember 1, 2022
A research team at The University of Adelaide in Australia has developed a first proof of concept for gene drive technology to control invasive mice called t-CRISPR. The researchers have published their first findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Using sophisticated computer modeling, the researchers found that about 250 gene-modified mice could eradicate an island population of 200,000 mice in around 20 years. The t-CRISPR approach uses cutting-edge DNA editing technology to alter a female fertility gene. Once the population is saturated with genetic modification, all the generated females will be infertile. Lead researcher Professor Paul Thomas, from the University of Adelaide and the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute, said that this is the first time this genetic tool has been identified to suppress invasive mouse populations by inducing female infertility.
Luke Gierus, the co-first author of the paper, said that t-CRISPR was the first genetic biocontrol tool for invasive mammals. Mr. Gerius added that this technology provides a humane approach to controlling invasive mice without releasing toxins into the environment and putting non-target species at risk.
For more details, read the article in The University of Adelaide Newsroom.
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