Researchers in China have utilized a two-pronged approach to reduce the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) population by 94 percent in two islands in the city of Guangzhou.
Scientists have launched a major new phase in the testing of a controversial genetically modified organism: a mosquito designed to quickly spread a genetic mutation lethal to its own species. Researchers have begun large-scale releases of the engineered insects, into a high-security laboratory in Terni, Italy.
Unlike so-called ‘self-limiting’ genetic modification of mosquitoes – which, for example, renders them infertile or produce infertile offspring – gene drive works by unleashing a mutated gene that spreads rapidly through the species.
Work on an engineered gene used to modify DNA of mosquitoes ‘could be stifled’ by perceived risk to environment. The United Nation’s Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Egypt next week will consider recommendations that call on governments to refrain from releasing organisms that contain gene drives, even in small-scale field trials.
No living creature with a gene drive has ever been set free.
Wolbachia lives in the cells of many insects, but not in the Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries Zika, dengue, and yellow fever.
India has launched aims to suppress the Aedes aegypti mosquito population by introducing genetically modified mosquitoes.
Researchers are genetically engineering the Anopheles gambiae mosquito. Almost all of the modified mosquitoes offspring will inherit mutations that disable the genes needed to make eggs.
Scientists have made a discovery that may help eliminate disease-spreading mosquitoes continent-wide.
They hope to release millions or billions of sterilized mosquitoes as a countermeasure to dengue and the Zika virus.