Easy DNA Editing Will Remake the World. Buckle Up.
Any gene typically has just a 50–50 chance of getting passed on. Either the offspring gets a copy from Mom or a copy from Dad. But in 1957 biologists found exceptions to that rule, genes that literally manipulated cell division and forced themselves into a larger number of offspring than chance alone would have allowed. A decade ago, an evolutionary geneticist named Austin Burt proposed a sneaky way to use these “selfish genes.” He suggested tethering one to a separate gene—one that you wanted to propagate through an entire population. If it worked, you'd be able to drive the gene into every individual in a given area. Push those modifications through with a gene drive and the normal mosquitoes wouldn't stand a chance. Emmanuelle Charpentier did early work on Crispr. Kevin Esvelt, the evolutionary engineer who initiated the project, knows how serious this work is. Esvelt talked all this over with his adviser—Church, who also worked with Zhang. These problems don't end with mosquitoes.
Related: Narušení ekosystémů geneticky modifikovanými organismy
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