Synthetic biology – a new report
‘IUCN – The World Conservation has released a report written by the IUCN Task Force on Synthetic Biology and Biodiversity Conservation.
Synthetic biology – altering or redesigning genes to meet human objectives – is a fast-developing field with significant potential impacts on nature conservation, according to the report.
So far mostly applied in agriculture and medicine, synthetic biology could have substantial knock-on effects on conservation – including modified genes spreading to non-target species and affecting broader ecosystems, but also benefits such as saving threatened species, reduced fertiliser use or diminished demand for products derived from threatened species.
The report will inform a new IUCN policy on conservation and synthetic biology, which IUCN Members will vote on during the IUCN World Conservation Congress in June 2020.’