Jonathan Latham PhD: The Dangers of Gene Editing and Gene Drives

Interviewed by

Lisa Er

Jonathan Latham PhD: The Dangers of Gene Editing and Gene Drives

We expose our world to unique hazards with every new technology. Gene Editing technologies are becoming one of the more contentious issues of our day.

There is documented evidence into the unpredictability of genetic engineering. Yet there is mounting pressure for new gene technologies to be used with no regulatory supervision.

Gene editing is the genetic alteration of the natural world.

They are a stage after genetic engineering.

Whatever the size of a change made inside a cell, and some scientists like to say they are very small changes, how can messing with DNA be a safe thing to do, when we increasingly realise the connection between living things.

Organisms are self organising complex systems and so how can it be possibly safe to manipulate and mess with our food and animals?

Prominent International AdvocateDr Jonathan Latham is a prominent international advocate for public interest science. He is co-founder and Executive Director of the Bioscience Resource Project and the Editor of Independent Science News and Director of the Poison Papers. He is recently been in New Zealand on a speaking tour.

Dr Latham holds a Masters degree in Crop Genetics and a PhD in Plant Virology. He worked at the Department of Genetics in the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA. He has published scientific papers in disciplines as diverse as plant ecology, plant virology, toxicology, genetics, and genetic engineering.

In this interview find out the difference between Genetic engineering and gene editing. What is CRISPR – (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) – and are there other types of gene editing?

What is the politics of food? How likely are the large corporations to say that gene editing doesn’t need to be included in food labelling?

Scientists can now harness gene drive mechanisms to control or alter natural populations. Is this safe?

The US’s secretive Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has become the world’s largest funder of “gene drive” research. Why?

Modified mosquitoes with gene drives on board are already being bred and tested in labs and some may have been released.

The Impact of Gene DrivesGiven the profound impact that gene drives could have on species and ecosystems, their use is a highly contentious issue. There are concerns about the ecological safety of the eradication, replacement or enhancement of particular species of animals by means of genetic engineering. Communities and groups have differing beliefs about nature and its conservation or preservation. For those reasons, the rigorous testing and regulation of insects and other animals with gene drive systems is crucial.

https://www.independentsciencenews.org/

Bioscience Resource Project

https://www.poisonpapers.org/

US military agency invests $100m in genetic extinction technologies:https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/dec/04/us-military-agency-invests-100m-in-genetic-extinction-technologies

A brief synopsis of the show

In this interview find out the difference between Genetic engineering and gene editing. What is CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) – and are there other types of gene editing?

What is the politics of food? How likely are the large corporations to say that gene editing doesn’t need to be included in labelling.

The US’s secretive Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has become the world’s largest funder of “gene drive” research. Why?

Scientists can now harness gene drive mechanisms to control or alter natural populations. Is this safe?

Dr Jonathan Latham is a prominent international advocate for public interest science. He is co-founder and Executive Director of the Bioscience Resource Project and the Editor of Independent Science News and Director of the Poison Papers.

He holds a Masters degree in Crop Genetics and a PhD in Plant Virology and has worked at the Department of Genetics in the University of Wisconsin, Madison, USA.

Leave a Comment


Lisa Er

Lisa Er

Born in the UK Lisa emigrated with her parents to New Zealand at the age of 16. Already politically active Lisa has continued to have a passionate interest in peace, politics, and the philosophy behind what we do.

A primary school teacher for 14 years, Lisa then turned her hand to business and created the well known Lisa's Hummus, which she sold a few years ago. Now Lisa is immersed in creating a better political system via www.theawarenessparty.com

Archive