Policy ForumBioethics

Principles for gene drive research

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Science  01 Dec 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6367, pp. 1135-1136
DOI: 10.1126/science.aap9026

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The recent outbreak of Zika virus in the Americas renewed attention on the importance of vector-control strategies to fight the many vector-borne diseases that continue to inflict suffering around the world. In 2015, there were ∼212 million infections and a death every minute from malaria alone (1). Gene drive technology is being explored as a potentially durable and cost-effective strategy for controlling the transmission of deadly and debilitating vector-borne diseases that affect millions of people worldwide, such as Zika virus and malaria. Additionally, its suitability is being evaluated for various potential applications in conservation biology, including a highly specific and humane method for eliminating invasive species from sensitive ecosystems (2, 3).

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