Royal Society paper highlights potential of gene editing

A milk alternative for lactose intolerance sufferers, the eradication of wilding trees and increased livestock breeding are just some of the potential benefits of gene editing outlined in a discussion paper released yesterday by the Royal Society Te Aparanga.

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The paper highlights five current issues of concern in New Zealand (e.g. the spread of wilding conifers), identifies a potential fix through gene editing, and offers up a range of related environmental, social, ethical and legal considerations.

The society recently introduced a multidisciplinary panel to facilitate open discussion on the subject of gene editing and its future in New Zealand, and has asked for feedback on the paper from the general public.

Discussions around gene editing have recently intensified as scientists across the globe investigate sustainable ways to combat global warming and feed the earth’s rapidly expanding population, which many believe will reach its peak in less than half a century.

Read the discussion paper here

For more information on the Royal Society visit