The Novel and Exceptional Technology and Research Advisory Committee (NExTRAC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will hold a virtual meeting on June 25 to present and deliberate on their report about gene drive application for disease control. The report aims to assess whether existing biosafety guidance is adequate for contained laboratory research utilizing gene drive technology and to outline conditions, if any, under which NIH could consider supporting field release of gene drive modified organisms.

Join the second webinar of the Gene Drive Webinar Series on June 24 to discover how gene drive could help us address global conservation challenges! Experts from Island Conservation, CSIRO, Manaaki Whenua Landcare Research and the Biological Heritage National Science Challenge will discuss gene drive applications for invasive species control, the usefulness and limitations of gene drive approaches for conservation purposes and more. Register now!

The government of New South Wales, Australia, has announced a US$50 million package for pest control, focusing especially on mice. Approximately US$1.8 million of this investment will go to genetic control tools, including gene drive research.

Paul Thomas, University of Adelaide, explains that scientists are currently researching two gene drives approaches that could potentially cause the mouse population to crash over time. The first approach would affect female fertility, while the so-called “X-shredder" approach would eliminate the sperm carrying the X chromosome, thus leading to the production of more male than female offspring.

If you could not join the first panel of the Gene Drive Webinar Series, you can still watch the discussion here!

In this introductory session, Prof. Paul Thomas (University of Adelaide and SAHMRI) and Dr. Prasad Paradkar (CSIRO) addressed some of the most common questions related to gene drive, also providing a technical overview of how the technology works, its potential applications and research status. Ms. Krystal Birungi Mwesiga (Target Malaria, UVRI) moderated the discussion and ensuing Q&A.

The Society for Conservation Biology will host one more session of the Emerging Issues in Conservation Seminar on June 9. The online event will feature speakers whose research has been published in Conservation Biology, Conservation Letters and Conservation Science and Practice.

During the event, Claire Hirashiki (University of California), Michele Weber and Ben Novak (Revive & Restore) will discuss two papers - Concern over hybridization risks should not preclude conservation interventions and U.S. conservation translocations: Over a century of intended consequences.