Teilhard de Chardin’s oeuvre within an ongoing discussion of a gene drive release for public health reasons

Life Sciences, Society and Policy 13 (1):1-15 (2017)
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Abstract

Within the domain of public health, vector-borne diseases are among the most vehemently discussed issues. Recent scientific breakthroughs in genome editing technology provided a solution to this issue in the form of a gene drive that might decrease and even eradicate vector-borne diseases. Gene drives are engineered, and designed genes that can break typical inheritance rules and be passed to almost all of the carrier’s offspring. This genome editing and gene drive technology has become a powerful tool for ecological and environmental engineering, through which man can manipulate his surroundings, adjusting it to himself and directly mastering evolution and the ecosystem. Although the gene drive technology has been perceived as promising in the public health domain, ecological implications of its use are not to be underestimated. The primary aim of this paper is to overcome the ongoing discussion which mostly focuses on whether priority should be given to the environment or to public health, and to find an adequate answer and solution. In this quest to find the proper answer and solution, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s thought might be useful, especially his concepts of the biosphere and the noosphere which may provide some clarifications as to why we are at the moment so cautious with gene drive technology and how we need to move towards a better common future on earth.

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