Our destiny should have been obvious. It was written long ago in a poem. First, they came for the rats, and I did not speak out—because I was not a rat.

Here’s what happened. In December 2017, Cell Press reported that geneticists at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland proposed a new approach to pest control. They would attack rat sperm at the DNA level, using Crispr gene-editing technology to eliminate X chromosomes and thus end female births, slowly but surely killing off the species. Nice and neat.

Geneticists propose a London pest-control plan straight out of sci-fi