In the ongoing controversy over whether and how to use a powerful new genome editing technology in the wild to achieve conservation and public health goals, two new papers urge caution.

Jason Delborne addresses CRISPR gene drives controversy in NYTimes, Quanta, and Gizmodo

November 17, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

GES Faculty member Jason Delborne addresses two controversial new papers in several articles published this week on the safety of field testing CRISPR gene drives in the wild. With links to articles in New York Times, Quanta, Gizmodo and The Atlantic....

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Graphic of corn cobs with DNA

Genetic Literacy Project: USDA scraps overhaul of GMO and gene edited crop regulations that biotech advocates viewed as ‘unscientific’

November 7, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

“I think the real reason [for the withdrawal] is that the new proposed rule would have brought more gene-edited crops under its authority,” stated Kuzma. “And this new administration isn’t too fond of regulations in general.”...

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Marine iguanas of the Galápagos are vulnerable to feral cats and other invasive predators. Credit: Tui de Roy, Scientific American

Scientific American: Could Genetic Engineering Save the Galápagos?

November 7, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Campbell first became intrigued by the possibilities of gene drive in 2011, when he sat in on a conference call between biologists at NC State University and officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to discuss a possible genetic approach to control a runaway mouse problem on Southeast Farallon Island, about 20 miles west of the California coast, near San Francisco. John Godwin, a North Carolina State neurobiologist who studies animal behavior, had learned of the Farallon issue while skimming the Internet in 2011. He happened to be at a university with an established infrastructure dedicated to experimenting with—and considering the ethical implications of—genetic manipulation....

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Tractor plowing a field.

Science: Trump’s agriculture department reverses course on biotech rules

November 7, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

It’s a predictable move by President Donald Trump’s White House to take another look at the policies of the previous administration, says Jennifer Kuzma, a social scientist who co-directs the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. “I expected them to eventually catch wind that this was something that USDA was doing, and reverse it.”...

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Science Cafe

Godwin and Delborne discuss CRISPR and ethics at NC Museum of Science

October 2, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

GES faculty John Godwin and Jason Delborne were at the NC Museum of History on 9.28.17 discussing genetic biocontrol of pest populations, such as CRISPR gene drives to eliminate invasive rodents from islands to protect endangered seabirds. See PowerPoint presentation & livestream video (including slides)....

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Megaphone with edited DNA

Scientific American article on public acceptance of CRISPR features Delborne and Kuzma

October 2, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

“Without transparency, we might see a kind of hyperpolarization,” says Jason Delborne, a professor of science, policy and society at North Carolina State University. Concerned groups will feel marginalized, and advocates won't receive critical feedback needed to improve design and safety. “This puts the technology at risk of a knee-jerk moratorium at the first sign of difficulty,” he notes....

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From Todd Kuiken's visit to Counter Culture Labs in San Francisco in August, 2017.

Upgrading Biosafety and Biosecurity: Open Philanthropy awards $700K for DIYbio

September 22, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

“For the last six years, Todd and I have been exploring the best ways to ensure the healthy growth of community labs as safe and secure resources for public education and biotech innovation,” says Grushkin. “This grant will help us codify best practices in these often unconventional spaces.”...

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Kuzma examines benefits, regulation of gene edited crops in EMBO

September 21, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

In this article, published by EMBOpress, researchers look at how new genetic-engineering (GE) technologies based on gene editing can help to generate crop varieties to address critical challenges in agricultural development. However, governance systems for these crops are poorly defined and currently uncertain....

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GES IGERT Students Research Deployment of Gene Drive Insects

August 4, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

A new paper from GES IGERT students, to be published by the Journal for Responsible Innovation, is now available online. Anticipating complexity in the deployment of gene drive insects in agriculture Jennifer Baltzegar, Jessica Cavin Barnes, Johanna E. Elsensohn, Nicole Gutzmann, Michael...

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Giant petrel with young in the nest

NC State Receives DARPA Funding to Develop, Test Gene Drive System

August 4, 2017 | Staff

For Immediate Release August 3, 2017 John Godwin  |  919.513.2936 North Carolina State University researchers have received funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and test a system that would reduce populations of...

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Petrel Mouse

GES Co-Directors Gould and Kuzma Quoted in Audubon Story on Using Gene Drives to Save Island Birds

July 11, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

A new story in Audubon Magazine, How Genetically Modified Mice Could One Day Save Island Birds, features quotes from GES Co-Directors Dr. Fred Gould and Dr. Jennifer Kuzma. The article tells the story of how Dr. John Godwin, Associate Professor of Biological Sciences, and Ph.D. student Megan Serr became part of GBIRd (Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents), a global partnership working to save island birds from extinction by using the cutting-edge (and controversial) CRISPR and gene drive technologies to eradicate invasive species of mice....

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Read "Citizen Health Innovators: Exploring Stories of Modern Health" from BioCoder, Spring 2017

Todd Kuiken in BioCoder: Citizen Health Innovators

May 5, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. Many would argue that their greatest necessity is health. So what happens when treatments are ineffective or unavailable? Today, in the age of crowdfunding, some people are taking matters into their own hands and developing their own treatments, including surgical techniques, gene therapies and molecular therapies. GES Senior Research Scholar Dr. Todd Kuiken, together with international science policy expert Eleonore Pauwels, of The Wilson Center, explores the risks, regulatory issues, and implications of the emerging DIY, "patient-powered" health research movement in the Spring 2017 issue of BioCoder....

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Read "U.S. Regulations for Biotechnology Are Woefully Out of Date" on Slate.com

Jennifer Kuzma quoted in Slate on biotech regulatory issues

May 3, 2017 | Patti Mulligan

Biotechnology is moving at lightening speed, especially with the advances in genetic engineering and synthetic biology. However, policies and regulations lag far behind, leaving potentially dangerous gaps in classification and oversight. Dr. Jennifer Kuzma, GES...

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OECD Co-operative Research Programme Funded Workshop

June 6, 2016 | Staff

Environmental Release of Engineered Pests: Building an International Governance Framework October 5 – 6, 2016 Agenda Download PDF Impetus for the Workshop There has been intense research and development of new gene drive technologies, with...

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