Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gene Editing on Ants

An article from Discover Magazine wrote about a science research team from New York University on the testing of ants with a gene modification tool called CRISPR. CRIPSR has been the face of genetics recently because of the wonders it's capable of doing. With the support of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the science team are not conducting some ordinary ant study, they are focusing on how ant colonies successfully organize and execute difficult tasks.  The research team had used the CRISPR to remove a single gene code that is crucial towards the translation of a protein correlated to the working of olfactory receptors in Indian jumping an
ts. When the gene was removed, the ants were unresponsive to sense of smell, a trait which is passed in future generations. With this sense removed, it is observed that this was very important in the life of an ant. Also the Indian jumping ants' brains were changed as well. A fraction of 'glomeruli', an important factor that processes olfactory information, was shrunk in size on the ants' brains. This as a result affected their organization, which was unusual because ants are known to be very good at organization. These observations were very insightful because it give more information towards the cause and effects with CRISPR technology.

1 comment:

  1. this is really fascinating to understand how CRISPR was able to remove a gene that affected olfactory receptors. Makes one wonder if it can remove the sense of smell then its possible to place in missing sense (i.e blindness and giving someone the ability to see).