Researchers are generating genetically engineered insects to help prevent the spread of infectious diseases
At the University of California, researchers are genetically engineering mosquito DNA in order to disrupt cuticle, wing and eye development. This has led to the production of completely yellow, three-eyed and wingless mosquitoes. This will make it harder for them to survive. They wish to use Cas9- expressing mosquitoes with gene drive to insert and spread genes that suppress them while avoiding them developing a resistance. This genome editing is very important as scientists want to prevent mosquitoes from spreading pathogens. It has not worked in the past due to low mutation rates, poor survival of edited mosquitoes and inefficient transmission of disrupted genes to offspring. Mosquitoes are known carriers of dengue, chikungunya, yellow fever and zika viruses. They are also continuously becoming resistant to commonly used pesticides.
This research is very important as the elimination of mosquitoes would stop the spread of such awful disease. Mosquitoes are hated for this reason and the fact that they are so irritating. I would be thrilled if this science works and am excited to see the demise of their species. I attached another article about the effects of the zika virus which has come to light in recent years.