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EU representatives and experts discuss gene drive

On October 30, the European Parliament Intergroup on Climate Change, Biodiversity & Sustainable Development held the online event “Research and innovation for biodiversity: What role for gene drive research? The event was chaired by the MEP Maria da Graça Carvalho and had the objective to inform the EU institutions and stakeholders on the state of gene drive research, existing oversight as well as benefits and risks of possible gene drive applications.

Several experts in the Network contributed to the discussion. Prof Austin Burt and Prof Luke Alphey offered an introduction to how gene drive mechanisms function and an overview of ongoing research to develop gene drive applications to control disease vectors and invasive alien species, while Prof Claudia Emerson provided some reflections on the ethical aspects of gene drive research.

In addition to the scientific and ethical aspects, the event was also an opportunity for understanding more the governance of gene drive. Renowned biosafety experts described the regulatory guidelines existing at the European and international level to allow the responsible and safe development of gene drive research. Besides, two representatives of IUCN and WHO informed the audience of the respective organizations’ work on gene drive. A video recording of the event, as well as further information, can be found at the European Parliament Intergroup website.

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