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The University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute is studying the possibility of altering the genes of grey squirrels in the UK, to eradicate the species through infertility.

@gatsby How do you feel about solutions such as gene drives, over more 'natural' solutions such as reintroducing predatory species like pine martens to balance numbers?

@bhlm (Re)introducing predatory species works for a while, at least until the target species is eradicated. However, the predator then looks for new prey, and can become a problem in its own right. If we can eradicate an "invasive" species (which humans introduced, in the case of grey squirrels) without causing it physical harm, but also without introducing another potentially problematic species, I'm all for it.

@gatsby Yeah, I'm all for it because I think gene drives are cool as fuck. But recognise that these things probably should be thought through carefully first before going ahead.

Any further news if they are actually going through with it?

@bhlm I'm sure they will analyze and test the idea very carefully. They have the support of Government Ministers, so it really could go ahead!

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