Matthias Tunger/Getty Images

De gevaren van geplande uitstervingen

HONOLULU – Er is een cynische beweging in gang gezet om een nieuwe, krachtige en verontrustende technologie, bekend onder de naam ‘gene drives’, te bevorderen voor gebruik in het natuurbehoud. We hebben het hier niet over alledaagse genetische modificatie, bekend als ‘GMO’, maar over een radicale nieuwe technologie die ‘mutagene kettingreacties’ veroorzaaktdie ecosystemen op onvoorstelbare manieren kunnen transformeren.

Gene drives zijn de volgende stap in de genetische modificatie, synthetische biologie, en ‘gene editing’. Deze technologie zet de standaardregels voor genetische erfelijkheid opzij, door te verzekeren dat een bepaalde eigenschap, die door de mens in het DNA van een organisme wordt ingebracht met gebruik van geavanceerde gene editing-technologie, zich verspreidt naar alle volgende generaties, en daarmee de toekomst van de hele soort verandert.

Het is een biologisch gereedschap met ongekende kracht. Toch promoten velen, in plaats van de tijd te nemen om de relevante ethische, ecologische, en sociale kwesties ten volle in overweging te nemen, gene drive-technologie agressief voor gebruik in natuurbehoud.

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