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Lasque Tiarc

How CRISPR can make the last of us a reality

Vaseline 3 months ago

the last of us

The prowess of the technology – and the source of potential catastrophe related to gene editing – has to do with ‘gene drives’. In general, gene drives denote a technique that promotes the inheritance of a particular gene to increase its prevalence in a given population. This is a capability that CRISPR offers in spades. Gene drives could theoretically eradicate harmful species or traits, but they can also inadvertently harm otherwise beneficial species, and even destroy ecological balances.

Would this immediately lead to a zombie apocalypse style The last of us, a horror movie scenario created by CRISPR? Let’s hope not. But in all seriousness, the extinction of a single species, especially a keystone or foundational species, means a cascade of escalating consequences, all of which could culminate in the collapse of an entire ecosystem.