How to Control the Incredible Promise and Profound Power of Gene Drive Technology

Cutting-Edge Genetic Research That Could Lead to Species Extinction Should Be Handled With Care

From ancient soothsayers to Wall Street stock pickers, humans have always yearned to be able to tell the future. The ability, needless to say, has mostly been overstated.

But what if there was a sense in which you really could tell the future? And what if we could also make a particular outcome more likely, even certain? The emerging technology known as gene drives offers just such a prospect for favoring particular traits in future plants and animals—to increase agricultural output, to reduce the risk of infectious disease transmission, or …

More In: Mosquitoes

How the Lowly Mosquito Helped America Win Independence

The Blood-Sucking Insect Has Played a Leading Role in the Rise and Fall of Empires Throughout History

In recent months, millions of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have been at work spreading the Zika virus in South and Central America. This summer, millions more, all capable of conveying the …

We Can’t Expect the Government to Save Us From Disease-Carrying Mosquitoes

The Arrival of the Zika Virus in the U.S. Reminds Us That the First Line of Defense Is Our Own Backyards

“We need you to come take a look at something.” Ecologist Angela Brisco and technician Marc Mitchell, employees of the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District, peered over …