Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Potential Danger of Gene Drive Research


There has been recent news about gene drive research and how the government intends to implement the technology to wipe out diseases and epidemics. One United States military agency just invested 100 million in "genetic extinction technologies" which are making many countries fearful. These genetic extinction technologies could eventually be used as bioweapons if there are no proper rules and restrictions. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is now the world's largest gene driver funder and their main focus is on pest control and eradication. Due to the recent outbreaks of Zika in the Americas and the millions of malaria cases reported, DARPA wants to spearhead these vector-borne diseases and ultimately use cutting-edge gene editing tools to distort the sex-ratio of mosquitoes and effectively wipe out malarial populations. However, there are many environmental issues that could arise from this technology which has been proven in the past. Also, what if this technology advances and lands in the wrong hands?

I do not agree with this technology being handled by the government (call me a conspiracist). I feel that this technology should be used for research purposes only and possibly for medical reasons. Others have tried to use this science in order to eliminate diseases and outbreaks, however they have all proven to be very costly and detrimental to the environment. Our world is falling apart as we know it and by using this technology we will only expedite it's imminent death. Gene drive research is still new and needs to be tested more before any technologies are used on people and more importantly the environment.

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1 comment:

  1. This was a very interesting article. Wow who knew that the American government would be working on technology to wipe out diseases. I also do not agree with this type of technology even if it could wipe out many diseases. This technology could be used the opposite way, if they could wipe out diseases then they could use this to also spread disease as a weapon.