Why DARPA Is Investing Big in Gene Drives

Gizmodo – A powerful and controversial new genetic engineering technology called a gene drive offers the potential to drastically reshape our world by overriding natural selection. And the US military’s research arm is among one of the technology’s biggest research funders.

It’s no secret that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has its eye on gene drive technology. Last year, the agency launched a program aimed at developing a sort of Ctrl-Z function for gene editing that would allow scientists to undo their genetic work should they make an unfortunate mistake and better understand gene editing technologies’ function. In July, DARPA announcedseven research teams that would be the recipients of a total $65 million in grants, with gene drives one of the major focuses of the research.

DARPA’s interest in gene drives—and what exactly the sometimes secretive agency plans to do with them—is making headlines again this week after an anti-gene drive advocacy group published a trove of emails from gene drive researchers obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The emails come as a United Nation committee meets this week in Montreal to discuss, among other things, how to address gene drives at the UN’s Convention on Biological Diversity next year in Egypt.

Read more at Gizmodo.

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Researcher performing gene research