Topic – Science and Technology- developments and their applications and effects in everyday life
6) What do you understand by gene drive and examine its implications?(250 words)
Why this question
Ending Malaria via this technology is a possibility and it is currently being debated by CBD. Such debates and the underlying technology is important for preparing science and technology section.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to explain what Gene drive technology is, how it works, discuss its applications. Thereafter we have to analyze the usage of this technology and the likely impact it can have on ecosystem, and other such issues that may arise. Finally, we need to provide our opinion for the way forward for this technology.
Examine – When you are asked to examine, you have to probe deeper into the topic, get into details, and find out the causes or implications if any .
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain that this is a technology newly developed and currently under focus due to its role in potentially tackling diseases such as malaria.
- Explain about the technology – Engineered gene drives are genetic systems that circumvent traditional rules of sexual reproduction and greatly increase the odds that the drive will be passed on to offspring. This enables the spread of specified genetic alterations through targeted wild populations over many generations. They represent a potentially powerful tool to confront regional or global challenges, including control of invasive species and eradication of insect-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue.
- Explain that the idea is not new, but Harvard-based researchers have now outlined a technically feasible way to build gene drives that potentially could spread almost any genomic change through populations of sexually reproducing species
- Discuss its application as potentially powerful ecosystem management tool for global sustainability, but one that carries with it new concerns, as with any emerging technology
- Highlight the concerns as articulated in the down-to-earth article
Conclusion – Give your view on what should be the way forward for gene drive.