Gene drives

Further reading

Warmbrod, Kelsey Lane et al. (2020) Gene drives: pursuing opportunities, minimizing risk, The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.

Gene drivesdrive arerefers to the process by which a genetic element biases its own inheritance, and the genetic element itself. 

Many natural or artificial processesgene drives have been identified that favoroperate through a range of mechanisms. The CRISPR nucleases have accelerated the development of synthetic gene drives by making it easier to genetically engineer non-model species and a CRISPR nuclease is frequently used as a core component of the synthetic inheritance of certain genes throughout a population.biasing mechanism. 

Gene drives operate by using CRISPR to insert a genetic modification into a population and spreading it atcan through higher-than-normal rates of inheritance. Offspringinheritance spread a genetic change through a population. This can occur even if the modification has a fitness disadvantage for those carrying it. 

Homing endonuclease gene drives (HEGs) are likely the furthest developed form of synthetic gene drives.  In diploids, one chromosome is contributed by the father and one by the mother. HEGs operate by copying themselves from an organism carrying a gene drive inheritone homologous chromosome to the driveother (switching the cell from being heterozygotes to homozygous from the engineered parent on one chromosome and a normal gene from the other parent on the other chromosome. During early development, the CRISPR drive cuts the other copy and replaces it with a copy of the drive, producing an organism with two copies of the genetic modification.HEG). Thus, while a mutation spread through Mendelian inheritance can propagate to only 50% of descendants with each generation, a modification spread through gene drives (or "super-Mendelian" inheritance) is passed on to virtually all descendants within a single generation.[1]

Gene drives operate by using CRISPR to insert a genetic modification into a population and spreading it at higher-than-normal rates of inheritance. Offspring from an organism carrying a gene drive inherit the drive from the engineered parent on one chromosome and a normal gene from the other parent on the other chromosome. During early development, the CRISPR drive cuts the other copy and replaces it with a copy of the drive, producing an organism with two copies of the genetic modification. Thus, while a mutation spread through Mendelian inheritance can propagate to only 50% of descendants with each generation, a modification spread through gene drives (or "super-Mendelian" inheritance) is passed on to virtually all descendants within a single generation.[1]

Applications to malaria control

Two applications of gene drives to the control of malaria have been proposed. One is to modify the relevant mosquito species to make it incapable of carrying the malaria parasite. The other is to significantly reduce the population of those mosquito species.[2] Once the gene drives are released, the relevant mutation could be propagated through the entire population of interest in a period of just a few years. In 2016, a group of researchers at Imperial College and other universities genetically engineered the Anopheles gambiae mosquito—the primary mosquito species that spreads the malaria parasite—rendering it capable of passing the genetic modification to over 99% of offspring.[1]

Target Malaria is developing gene drives to change the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes to eradicate the disease.one organization currently working on these applications.

Other applications

Gene drives have also been suggested for reducing wild-animal suffering. For example, transhumanist philosopher David Pearce proposes CRISPR-based gene drives for promoting low-pain alleles in sexually reproducing wild animals.[1]2] The leader of the MIT Media Lab’s Sculpting Evolution group Kevin M. Esvelt also has written favorably about engineered gene drives for reducing wild-animal suffering.[2]3]

  1. ^

    Hammond, Andrew et al. (2016) A CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system targeting female reproduction in the malaria mosquito vector Anopheles gambiae, Nature Biotechnology, vol. 34, pp. 78–83.

  2. ^
  3. ^

    Esvelt, Kevin (2019) When are we obligated to edit wild creatures?, Leaps.Org, August 30.

Gene drives have also been suggested for reducing wild-animal suffering. For example, transhumanist philosopher David Pearce proposes CRISPR-based gene drives for promoting low-pain alleles in sexually reproducing wild animals (Pearce 2016) .animals.[1] The leader of the MIT Media Lab’s Sculpting Evolution group Kevin M. Esvelt also has written favorably about engineered gene drives for reducing wild-animal suffering (Esvelt 2019)suffering.[2]

External links

Sculpting Evolution. Many additional resources on this topic.

Bibliography

Esvelt, Kevin (2019)

  1. When are we obligated to edit wild creatures?^, Leaps.Org, August 30.

  2. ^

    Esvelt, Kevin (2019) Sculpting EvolutionWhen are we obligated to edit wild creatures?. Many additional resources on this topic., Leaps.Org, August 30.

Gene drives have also been suggested for reducing wild-animal suffering. For example, transhumanist philosopher David Pearce proposes CRISPR-based gene drives for promoting low-pain alleles in sexually reproducing wild animals.animals (Pearce 2016) . The leader of the MIT Media Lab’s Sculpting Evolution group Kevin M. Esvelt also has written favorably about engineered gene drives for reducing wild-animal suffering.suffering (Esvelt 2019).

Bibliography

Esvelt, Kevin (2019) When are we obligated to edit wild creatures?, Leaps.Org, August 30.

Pearce, David (2016) Compassionate biology: How CRISPR-based “gene drives” could cheaply, rapidly and sustainably reduce suffering throughout the living world, BLTC Research, (updated 2021).

External links

Sculpting Evolution. Many additional resources on this topic.

Gene drives have also been suggested for reducing wild-animal suffering. For example, transhumanist philosopher David Pearce proposes CRISPR-based gene drives for promoting low-pain alleles in sexually reproducing wild animals. The leader of the MIT Media Lab’s Sculpting Evolution group Kevin M. Esvelt also has written favorably about engineered gene drives for reducing wild-animal suffering.

Gene drives are natural or artificial processes that favor the inheritance of certain genes throughout a population. Target Malaria is developing gene drives to change the genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes to eradicate the disease.

Thanks for creating this tag. I have renamed it 'gene drives', since the articles tagged either were a better fit for that tag or the way they relate to genetics is best captured by some other tag with which they are already associated (such as cognitive enhancement or iterated embryo selection).

In general, I think names of disciplines don't work very well as tags, since they tend to be overly broad and lump together articles that intuitively require a more fine-grained categorization.

4Michael Huang1y
No worries, thanks for renaming it. I have added a short lead section.