Monday, February 25, 2019

#56 / Bye, Bye Babies

An article that appeared in my inbox rather recently talked about how geneticists are now confident that they can use "gene drive" techniques to prevent mammals from reproducing. Let's put the destiny of the human race in our own hands, for once! That's the potential. Once we have this technology well in hand, we can forget about the problems (or the hypothetical problems) outlined in that famous book, The Population Bomb. As a little line printed just before the headline of the article says, "Bye, Bye Babies."

Here is a brief excerpt from the article: 

Now that researchers know it’s possible to use gene drives in mammals, what might they do with that knowledge? 
For one, they could use the technology to control invasive populations, similarly to how researchers are already using gene drives against mosquitoes. 
"With additional refinements, it should be possible to develop gene-drive technologies to either modify or possibly reduce mammalian populations that are vectors for disease or cause damage to indigenous species,” researcher Ethan Bier said in a press release.

Click right here for the entire article. Watch the video below for an explanation of the technique:

Is it time to rejoice? What could possibly go wrong?

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