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How to make sure gene drive research is carried out safely and responsibly?

It is becoming more and more widely acknowledged that if proposed gene drive applications to control malaria (currently among the most advanced gene drive technologies being researched) prove successful, the use of gene drives will not stop there. A new report by a team of experts based out of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University has sought to lay out recommendations for the safe and responsible governance of gene drives once they have become a normalized tool in the field of public health and beyond.

The recommendations include evaluating each proposed gene drive application on a case-by-case basis, and avoiding full national or international moratoriums on gene drive research. They also foreground the importance of incorporating multiple containment strategies into research and development processes to avoid accidental releases and the need for coordination and communication between researchers and stakeholders, while also suggesting that special international agreements should be created to govern the use of gene drives in species of agricultural importance.

The full report can be accessed here.

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