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The NC State Science, Technology, and Society (STS) and GBIRd – Genetic Biocontrol of Invasive Rodents programs are pleased to host Tanja Strive, senior principal research scientist at Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research, Australia’s National Science Agency, who will discuss "Prospects for Genetic Biocontrol of Vertebrate Pests in Australia."

Deliberately or accidentally introduced invasive species have cost the Australian economy AUD$390 billion during the past 60 years, with vertebrate pests such as feral cats and rabbits amongst the costliest, and more effective landscape-scale management tools are needed. Novel revolutionary genetic technologies have recently been developed that can force modified genetic traits into an animal population, defying the constraints of normal Mendelian inheritance. Combined with a highly specific gene editing system, this technology has the potential for population control of pests, for example by creating all-male or female infertile offspring, which would ultimately lead to the collapse of the target population. Delivered and spread through sexual reproduction, this powerful new technology has unprecedented potential to make pest eradication theoretically feasible. Proof of concept in a mammalian model system (mice) has recently been achieved, raising the possibility of exploring these technologies for some of Australia’s most intractable and damaging vertebrate pests.

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In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NC State will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Direct accommodation requests to:

Jason Delborne, director of Science, Technology and Society, at jadelbor@ncsu.edu.

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