Thursday, November 21, 2019

Can DNA Editing Save Endangered Species?

kiwi bird

Kiwi birds are an example of an endangered species and they are native to New Zealand. These kiwis are in trouble due to non-native species (otherwise known as invasive species) including rats and other animals that prey on kiwis. This is because kiwis are a flightless bird. As a result of this, kiwis are starting to become extinct, and this makes New Zealand's leaders want to get rid of the non-native species that attack these birds. A new technology can help with this, but scientists are doubting whether or not this is actually a good idea. This "solution" may very well end up being a problem in another ecosystem. The technology they are considering using is a sort of gene editing tool called a gene drive. This tool would copy and paste itself into the genome of the invasive species, and the species would die off. They would use this gene drive in the certain areas where they are threatening the loves of endangered species, however, the gene drive runs the risk of spreading into and killing off this invasive species in areas where they are not even invasive. This would kill off the species in the whole entire geographic region. Though this technology is very interesting and a remarkable discovery, it runs too high of a risk at the moment and would have to be worked on more.


  1. Great topic to write about in this blog! This was a tough topic to think about and to the thought of a way to save endangered species because then there something might affect another species and then eventually might lead to other problems. I agree with you that this is too high of a risk!

  2. I think this article is really interesting, but I do not think this is the most ethical or efficient way of getting rid of an invasive species. Is it even ethical to kill off an invasive species if the goal was not to save an endangered species.