The Viral Era

Bernd Giese recently published an article titled “The viral era” in EMBO reports under the category ‘Science & Society’. He discusses the developments of modern technologies away from direct human influence towards increasingly autonomous systems. The article illustrates several bio-control techniques, from sterile insect technique (SIT), to gene drives, to viral applications such as Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents (HEGAA). The article concludes with a call for adequate safeguards and asking whether our understanding of nature is sufficient for comprehensive management of ecological and socio-ecological systems.

The article is freely available under open access policy at