Editing the Genome of Mosquitoes -- Exploring Ethics

1/7/2016; 58 minutes

How should we balance the benefits of limiting or possibly eliminating a disease that kills 1000 people a day against the possible disruption of an ecosystem? Valentino Gantz, and Ethan Bier recently published a Science paper describing a new mechanism of "gene drive." This is not just a matter of editing the genes of a single individual, but an opportunity to make a change that will drive that change into all descendants of the original individual. Their publication resulted in international interest because of the broad potential applications of this new technology, which could rapidly produce beneficial genetic changes. Others have argued that because of the risks and implications of such research the work should not even have been published. (#30009)

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