Thanks to CRISPR-Cas-based gene editing, engineered gene drive has suddenly become feasible as a potential cost-effective pest control tool that could help us resolve wicked challenges. In nature, several organisms harbor genes that “selfishly” drive themselves into populations. This natural gene drive uses similar mechanisms to the ones use today to drive engineered genes into laboratory populations.
We propose the use of the terms natural gene drive (NGD) and engineered gene drive (EGD) arguing against James et al., (James, S. L., O’Brochta, D. A., Randazzo, F., & Akbari, O. S. (2023). A gene drive is a gene drive: the debate over lumping or splitting definitions. nature communications, 14(1), 1749.) who think both should be included within the term “gene drive”, based on their mechanistic similarities.
Medina, R.F., Kuzma, J. Engineered and natural gene drives: mechanistically the same, yet not same in kind. Nat Commun 14, 5994 (2023).