The Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and the Global Vector Hub have developed the online platform Global Atlas of Medical Entomology Schooling (GAMES), which lists 26 medical entomology courses offered both on-campus and through distance learning in 32 countries across all WHO regions. The list includes trainings in seven different languages.

The New Yorker published an article highlighting advances in gene-editing technology, including gene drive, and their potential applications for response to invasive species. The feature specifically highlights research projects in Australia exploring the use of gene-editing to respond to invasive cane toads and rodents.

The piece also traces the birth and development of gene drive technology. It presents an overview of the current state of research in the field and gene drive potential applications, including invasive alien species management, disease control and extinct species resurrection.

The Akbari Lab is the latest group of scientists to join the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research. Based at the University of California - San Diego (UCSD), members of the Akbari Lab are currently researching a range of genetic approaches to help control pests and diseases, such as dengue and malaria.

Gene drive is one of their areas of research, but team members are also investigating other strategies, such as sterile male and other self-limiting approaches, which could suit different situation and needs. Self-limiting approaches could provide useful options to tackle diseases in some contexts, and also offer an important way to implement the “step by step” approach recommended for the development of gene drive organisms.

A new book by Dr. Robert Scheller, Professor of Landscape Ecology at North Carolina State University (NCSU), explores how human activities shape our landscape and the unique effects of these processes. The author also discusses how to address the negative impacts of anthropogenic drivers of landscape change, using landscape trajectories to guide the selection of an appropriate course of action.

Dr. Scheller includes genetic strategies as an essential tool for managing landscapes. He also analyses the risks of inaction caused by the fear of taking action under uncertain circumstances and other barriers to managing landscapes for change, such as culture and financial resources. If you are interested, check out his book Managing Landscapes for Change.

The Gene Drive Research Forum is producing a series of virtual discussions to provide a forum for stakeholders engaged in or working in the field of gene drive technologies. The first webinar “Stakeholder engagement and controversy: Lessons from the ground” will take place on February 9th. The event is co-hosted by the GBIRd partnership and the FNIH GeneConvene Global Collaborative.

Register here!