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Gene Drive Technology: The Thing to Fear is Fear Itself

Show simple item record Esvelt, Kevin 2018-11-29T14:41:11Z 2018-11-29T14:41:11Z 2018-12
dc.identifier 10.13021/mqcp-zf75 en_US
dc.description.abstract CRISPR gene drive systems have raised concerns due to their ability to spread through wild populations over generations, but the technology is slow, easily detected by sequencing, and readily countered by overwriting unwanted changes. Populations of humans and other organisms with long generation times cannot be directly affected, agriculture is highly resistant thanks to seed farms and selective breeding programs, and population suppression drives that might affect wild ecosystems are the most trivial to counter. The primary hazard of gene drive technology is not physical, but social: that unethical closed-door research, overhyped fears, or an unauthorized release into a wild population will damage public trust in science and governance. Sunlight, in the form of new incentives favoring pre-registration of all proposed gene drive research, is the best way to dispel the clouds of fear and uncertainty. Ensuring that research is conducted in the open could lead to external scrutiny of research plans in other fields, potentially enabling nascent technological hazards to be identified early enough to intervene.
dc.description.sponsorship Smith Richardson Foundation en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher George Mason University en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Editing Biosecurity Issue Brief;4
dc.subject CRISPR en_US
dc.subject Gene Drive Technology en_US
dc.title Gene Drive Technology: The Thing to Fear is Fear Itself en_US
dc.type Technical Report en_US

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