Gene drives aren’t ready for the wild, report concludes

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Mosquitoes and other organisms normally have a 50 percent chance of passing along a gene to an offspring. A gene drive copies and pastes itself into chromosomes from both parents, ensuring it gets passed on more often.

Mosquitoes and invasive species can rest easy — for now. Genetic technology called gene drives could wipe out pest species, but it’s not ready for release in the wild, concludes a report released June 8 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

Gene drives are self-perpetuating pieces of DNA that break the laws of genetics to get inherited by more offspring than usual. These promiscuous genes can quickly spread through a population.

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