In a global first, gene drive technology has been successfully applied to an invasive mammal. Previous applications have targeted invertebrates, like malaria-spreading mosquitoes. In this case, the technology was used to induce female infertility in mice.
Gene drive technology can be precisely targeted to individual species and offers hope as a humane, toxin-free means of controlling invasive species. The researchers behind this work are simultaneously working on techniques to ensure there is no risk to other species from application of the technology, and to ensure its potential use aligns with community views and attitudes.
For more information on the work headed by the University of Adelaide, see here.