Gene drive has yet to be tested outside research laboratories, but the debate about whether its application is feasible, effective and ethical started a while ago. A recent article from The New York Times Magazine explores the opportunities and risks of developing the technology and presents an overview of the current status of gene drive research.

Gene drive has the potential to help to address significant global challenges, according to the publication. Scientists from the University of California-Irvine and Target Malaria (a non-profit research consortium administered by Imperial College, London) are studying the possibility of using gene drive to reduce and even eradicate vector-borne diseases, such as malaria. Gene drive also has the potential to be used for conservation purposes. Island Conservation and the GBIRd partnership are currently evaluating the use of gene drive to remove invasive rodents from islands, which are threatening native species and wildlife through predation, competition, and disease transmission.