By Owen Heimsoth | USA
The US Military has just invested in technology that can create a gene that can take out an entire species and spread through an entire population.
Emails released under the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has become the world’s largest investor in this new gene technology called “gene driving.” Essentially, the technology allows for the gene to spread throughout an entire population undetected.
The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is debating on whether they will impose a moratorium on this type of gene technology research next year among fears of military use.
This technology’s planned use is to help wipe out malarial mosquitos and other species that may carry the disease. The worry, of course, is because a military agency is funding this research. Potential military use is what is causing the UN to consider a ban on the technology.
Jim Thomas, co-director of ETC Group said, “The dual-use nature of altering and eradicating entire populations is as much a threat to peace and food security as it is a threat to ecosystems.”
This technology uses CRISPR-Cas9. It is described as “a group of technologies that give scientists the ability to change an organism’s DNA. These technologies allow genetic material to be added, removed, or altered at particular locations in the genome” by the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The technology uses a synthetic ribonucleic acid (RNA) to cut into DNA strands and then insert, alter or remove targeted traits.