Scientists explain why experiments with GMOs can cause disaster

© Fotolia / kastoИсследования in the laboratory. Archival photoScientists explain why experiments with GMOs can cause disaster© Fotolia / kasto

Geneticists are concerned about the possible testing method of gene drive, which threatens biological diversity on the planet. It is reported portal Gizmodo.

«It is a technology to which we are socially and ethically not ready, but technologically we are able to implement it. It’s scary,» said new Zealand researcher Neil Gemmell.

The method of gene drive is able to «undo» the principle of natural selection, as contributing to the spread in the population of the modified gene. In addition, with this technology you can create an invasive organism is a pest, which can destroy the whole appearance of his kind.

For the first time about such application of the method of gene drive wrote a group of scientists from Harvard University in 2014. One of the authors of the publication, Kevin Esvelt, almost immediately after the publication of works tried to warn the scientific community about the danger of experiments. The fact that the method of gene drive creates a so-called «selfish gene» that can spread «in most populations of the species around the world.»

Now scientists say that the test gene drive is the equivalent of creating a new species threatening to biodiversity.

«My mistake was in failing to clearly and completely to convey information,» — says geneticist.

According to him, the publication of 2014 it was reported about the advantages of the method of gene drive, with possible risks and problems were given insufficient attention.

Last year, however, the UN Convention on biodiversity came to the conclusion that the potential benefits are too great to refuse to conduct «carefully controlled field tests» of the technology of gene drive.

Scientists hope to use this method for the benefit of biodiversity. They are actively working on ways to limit the spread of «selfish gene».