First Gene Drive In Mammals Could Aid Vast New Zealand Eradication Plan

wisebabo writes: Say goodbye to our little whiskered friends! There is an effort to wipe out not just any species, (there’s been discussions to wipe out the mosquitos that carry Malaria), but a mammal. Specifically the house mouse which, along with other invasive species introduced by Westerners, have ravaged New Zealand’s ecosystem. (Amongst other things they’ve rendered extinct many of the flightless birds there). They’ll try using the “gene drive” in mammals, which is a new genetic weapon made possible by the editing system CRISPR-Cas9. Basically, it’ll make all of the children of the genetically engineered mice male and then all of their children male and so on. This’ll continue until there are no females left and the population will crash. If this is successful, they want to use this technique on other species until all of the predators on New Zealand are wiped out.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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