A radical shift in biotechnology: leap out of the laboratory into nature.
New genetic technologies are currently being developed with which, for the first time, a targeted genetic modification of wild populations can be pursued. They are intended to combat invasive species, infectious diseases or agricultural pests. The protection of endangered species is also mentioned as a possible field of application. The common feature of these technologies is the independence of the genetic intervention and its associated shift from the controlled conditions of the laboratory to the field. This "leap out of the laboratory" raises questions about controllability and retrievability as well as compatibility with nature conservation claims. In addition to an introduction to Gene Drives and Horizontal Environmental Genetic Alteration Agents, this article seeks to identify the possible risks that may be associated with the genetic modification of wild organisms in the field and that may pose new problems for risk assessment, risk management and monitoring.