Prion diseases, a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that includes chronic wasting disease (CWD), are highly transmissible in cervids (mammals of the deer family). Hunting and culling are two of the main strategies currently being used to counter the spread of CWD, but growing disease prevalence and potential concerns that it could eventually spread to other mammals (including humans), are encouraging researchers to look for novel control strategies.

The fourth meeting of the Open-Ended Working Group (WG2020-4) on the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) took place in Nairobi, Kenya from June 21 to 26. The Framework will define targets and pathways for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity over the next decade and beyond, making it a critical tool for the world to stop and reverse the current catastrophic trends in biodiversity loss.

Researchers from Australia and the United States have shown the first example of a feasible gene drive system for controlling populations of invasive alien rodents. Invasive rodents, including house mice, are a major threat to the environment and biodiversity, particularly in island ecosystems. According to Island Conservation, invasive rodents such as mice are likely responsible for the greatest number of island bird extinctions as well as damaged ecosystems.

The “New Biological Platforms for Affecting Phenotype Changes for Control” conference will take place from June 26 - July 1, in Ventura, California. The event is a unique opportunity to learn more about genetic biocontrol, its applications, potential benefits, and the future course of research.

The second webinar of the 2022 Gene Drive Webinar Series provided participants with an overview of the regulation and oversight of gene drive technologies. An initiative led by the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research and the ISAAA SEAsia Center, the panel Key Considerations for Risk Assessment of Gene Drive Technologies focused on discussing the appropriateness of current guidelines, best practices, and gaps in the processes through which gene drive technologies are being developed and implemented.