Challenges for the Regulation of Gene Drive Technology

20 - 24 March 2017

Venue: Lorentz Center@Oort

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Description and Aim

This international workshop will promote a knowledge-based discussion about gene-drive applications. With new methods in gene editing like CRISPS-Cas9 it is now possible to introduce genes into wild populations that convert heterozygotes into homozygotes. Such driving genes will quickly increase in frequency. Potentially the new techniques offer great benefits for society, but there are also risks since the modification involves wild species. How can regulators best anticipate these challenges? The workshop will bring together scientists from various disciplines (gene editing, modelling, genetics, entomology, ecology), regulators and potential users of the new technology. Our approach is general but there is special interest for control of mosquitos and malaria, since this is likely to be the first application of gene drive technology in nature. Our aims are as follows.

·         Predict the technological developments in the next 5 years.

·         Give a definition of gene drive.

·         Use models to identify knowledge gaps.

·         Develop hypotheses of what might happen after the introduction of Genetically Modified Organisms with gene drive in the environment.

·         Create awareness about benefits and risks of the new techniques and connect our ideas to current regulation, ethical aspects and decision making.


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