Research on gene drive systems is rapidly advancing. Many proposed applications of gene drive research aim to solve environmental and public health challenges, including the reduction of poverty and the burden of vector-borne diseases, such as malaria and dengue, which disproportionately impact low and middle income countries. However, due to their intrinsic qualities of rapid spread and irreversibility, gene drive systems raise many questions with respect to their safety relative to public and environmental health. Because gene drive systems are designed to alter the environments we share in ways that will be hard to anticipate and impossible to completely roll back, questions about the ethics surrounding use of this research are complex and will require very careful exploration.
Gene Drives on the Horizon outlines the state of knowledge relative to the science, ethics, public engagement, and risk assessment as they pertain to research directions of gene drive systems and governance of the research process. This report offers principles for responsible practices of gene drive research and related applications for use by investigators, their institutions, the research funders, and regulators.
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Gene Drives on the Horizon: Advancing Science, Navigating Uncertainty, and Aligning Research with Public Values. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/23405.
|2 The State of Knowledge of the Molecular Biology, Population Genetics, and Ecology of Gene-Drive Modified Organisms||26-48|
|3 Case Studies to Examine Questions About Gene-Drive Modified Organisms||49-62|
|4 Charting Human Values||63-85|
|5 Phased Testing and Scientific Approaches to Reducing Potential Harms of Gene Drives||86-111|
|6 Assessing Risks of Gene-Drive Modified Organisms||112-130|
|7 Engaging Communities, Stakeholders, and Publics||131-146|
|8 Governing Gene Drive Research and Applications||147-176|
|9 Gene Drives on the Horizon: Overarching Considerations||177-179|
|Appendix A Agenda for the Workshop on the Science, Ethics, and Governance Considerations for Gene Drive Research||188-189|
|Appendix B List of Gene Drive Webinars||190-191|
|Appendix C Mosquito Control Strategies||192-196|
|Appendix D Rodent Control Strategies||197-200|
|Appendix E A Brief History of Ecological Risk Assessment||201-209|
|Appendix F Biographical Sketches of Committee Members||210-218|
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Co-chairs James Collins of Arizona State University and Elizabeth Heitman of Vanderbilt University Medical Center explain the report’s findings followed by a Q&A session. They are joined in the Q&A by committee members Lisa Taneyhill of the University of Maryland and Jason Delborne of North Carolina State University.
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