Questions to ask of emerging genetic technologies

  • Intra-species
  • Inter-species
  • Heritable
  • Non-heritable
  • Modification technology used
  • Yes
    • Pros and cons to non-GE
    • Pros and cons to GE
  • No
  • Proof of concept
  • Safety
  • Efficacy
  • Trials
    • In lab
      • Containment strategy
    • In environment
      • Containment strategy
      • Small scale
      • Large scale
  • Widescale application
  • Abandoned
    • Why
  • One organism
    • New ecological relationship
    • Existing ecological relationship
  • Multiple organisms
    • New ecological relationship
    • Existing ecological relationship
  • Population control of organism
  • Elimination of organism
  • Enhancement of property(ies) of organism(s)
  • Introduction of new organism(s)
  • Development
    • Anticipated
    • Unknowns
  • Deployment
    • Anticipated
    • Unknowns
  • Time to desired impact on climate
    • Anticipated
    • Unknowns

What can technology developers attempt to design for?

  • Current state of knowledge of ecosystem
    • Who has knowledge of ecosystem
      • Local knowledges
      • Indigenous/traditional science knowledges
      • Western science knowledges
        • Social
        • Natural
        • Physical
    • Have all sources of ecosystem knowledge been included
    • Ecosystem relationships
      • Knowns
      • Unknowns
        • Do unknowns need to be addressed in the tech development process
  • Timescale of anticipated ecosystem-level changes
    • Anticipated
    • Unknown
    • Monitoring strategy
  • Ecological relationships impacts
    • Anticipated
    • Possible unintended consequences
    • Inter-species impacts
      • Anticipated
        • Direct
        • Indirect
      • Unknown
    • Intra-species impacts
      • Anticipated
        • Direct
        • Indirect
      • Unknown
  • Population of organisms needed for intended impacts
    • Impact of population size on ecosystem relationships
    • Feasibility of generating organisms
  • What is the monitoring strategy
    • Pre-implementation
    • Post-implementation
      • Small scale
        • Early
        • Mid
        • Late
      • Large scale
        • Early
        • Mid
        • Late
  • Adaptation
    • Drought resistance
    • Disease resistance
    • Decreased disease burden
    • Climate-friendlier materials
    • Climate-friendlier industrial processes
  • Mitigation
    • Reduce heat-trapping gases
      • Reduce emissions
      • Increase capture
  • Monitoring
    • Genetic adaptation
    • Genetic diversity
    • Biodiversity
  • What are governance needs
    • Local
    • Regional
    • Global
  • Who gets to give input
  • When do communities give input
  • What can communities give input on
  • How is community updated
  • What are impacts on local community(ies)
  • What are impacts beyond the local community(ies)
  • What community values are impacted
  • Environmental release
    • Persistent
    • Nonpersistent
  • Containment strategy
    • How will containment be attempted
    • How will containment breaches be monitored
    • How will containment breaches be addressed
      • Safety
      • Efficacy
  • Reversal of deployment
    • Not possible technically
    • Possible technically
      • Complete
      • Incomplete
      • Timescale for reversal

Here’s what we’re learning

A lot of different sectors, from agriculture to carbon capture, are exploring where genetic technologies can be applied to climate challenges. Researchers are developing the technologies and learning how to develop applications. If successful, climate applications of these technologies create environmental-scale changes, requiring collective deliberation and decision-making within communities at local and global scales.

What questions do you have?

Tell us about the question(s) you are holding related to emerging genetic technologies and their applications to climate challenges. We are in a question-gathering mode. We aren’t able to respond to individual questions at this time. We do not share your contact information with others.