Scientists at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have engineered a new gene drive that allows for a higher degree of control and minimizes the risk of genetic changes that could lead to unintended ecological consequences.

The “split drive” system allows genetic parameters and strategies to either limit or extend the gene drive potential. According to Dr. Ethan Bier, senior author of the study, this tailored approach to gene drives could potentially enable the control of insect vectors and pests in diverse contexts.

The GeneConvene Global Collaborative will host a webinar series on Ecological Risk Assessment of gene drives. The meetings will take place every Wednesday from March 10th to 31st. During the first webinar, John Mumford, Imperial College London, and Michael Bonsall, Oxford University, will discuss the use of models in environmental risk assessment for gene drive insects. For a full list of webinar titles and speakers, including dates and times, please click here.

Registration is open and free!

The Ifakara Health Institute will host the master class “The Long Road to Malaria Elimination” with the legendary Prof. Sir Brian Greenwood on March 3. This 16th episode of Ifakara MasterClasses will address today’s big questions for malaria epidemiologists and entomologists and provide an analysis of the path towards malaria elimination. On the occasion, Prof. Greenwood will also cover selected breakthroughs in drugs, diagnostics, vaccines & vector control, as well as alternative futures of malaria prevention & control in Africa.

Malaria is a life-threatening disease that kills over 400,000 people per year. Children under 5 are the most vulnerable group, accounting for 67% of the worldwide cases in 2019. Although it is a preventable and treatable disease, we are still far away from a malaria-free world.

In order to unite efforts and eliminate malaria in one generation, the pan-African movement Zero Malaria Starts With Me have launched the new campaign Draw the Line Against Malaria. The campaign calls for more action, innovation, and financial resources, inviting people around the world to draw the line against this disease and add their own piece of art to the monumental malaria mural at zeromalaria.org. Join the movement!

We are thrilled to announce that Advanced Conservation Strategies (ACS) is now part of the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research.

ACS is a conservation organisation that is working to make lives and the environment better, using science to inform environmental conservation and sustainability decision-making. It combines science and human-centred design to create new ways of approaching environmental problem-solving. The organisation also works with multiple actors to monitor, evaluate, and learn from existing environmental efforts and programmes.

ACS has several conservation projects focused on endangered species, invasive alien species, fishing and marine conservation. You can learn more about their work by visiting their website.