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CRISPR Gene Drive (Complete guide 2019)

Crispr gene drive - malaria cure and a new way to look at conservation.

Crispr-cas9 gene drives are a reality with a new study showing efficient eradication of malaria carrying mosquito populations. Gene drive applications for most conservation needs require a gene drive working in mammals and more specifically in rats. Crispr-cas9 gene drives don’t work well in mammals yet, which pushes gene drive applications for conservation into the future. Applying gene drives for conservation purposes also needs a safety mechanism, like a daisy drive system, that doesn’t allow the drive to spread beyond the intended population.



Magazine stories etc. on gene drives:

An Ars Technica story covering the new study eradicating Anopheles gambiae mosquitos in the lab.

General easy to digest information on gene drives.

Part of the publications released when Kevin Esvelt, George Church and colleagues introduced the idea of Crispr-Cas9 mediated gene drives to the scientific community and the public. They decided not to pursue research in the area before telling about the idea, which is very uncommon in the scientific community. They felt that the concept is so powerful and potentially devastating that all research should be open and involve a dialogue with the public.
Later Esvelt has felt that they were too optimistic about gene drives for conservation underestimating how wide a drive can spread.

The website of Kevin Esvelt’s research group at MIT Media Lab. The website covers in detail the history of gene drives, the working of gene drives and safeguards like the daisy drive.

The website of The Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research dedicated raising awareness of the value of on gene drive research for the public good. Partly funded by the the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

A very thorough and interesting article on the potential and dangers of gene drives.

An interesting look at the ambitious conservation efforts in New Zealand and also covering the potential use of a gene drive.

A short open article on Nature journal on gene drives in mammals


Other articles and resources

OPEN ACCESS - The new study from Imperial College London where a population of malaria carrying Anopheles gambiae mosquitos was eradicated with a gene drive.

OPEN ACCESS – The original academic paper introducing the concept of CRISPR-CAS9 mediated gene drives released at the same time Scientific American guest post.

OPEN ACCESS - A paper looking at the population genetics and the population dynamics of gene drives.

A good review on different types of gene drives.

OPEN ACCESS – An article on gene drives and conservation with discussion the daisy drive.

OPEN ACCESS – An article specifically looking at daisy drives.

Another thorough review on different gene drive types.



Graph of mathematical modelling of daisy drives:
Smidler, A., Noble, C., Olejarz, J., Buchthal, J., Min, J., & Esvelt, K. (2017). Daisy-chain gene drives for the alteration of local populations. Responsive Science. Retrieved from

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