Saturday, November 25, 2017

Scientists create yellow, three-eyed, wingless mosquitoes by using gene editing tool

Researchers in California have created mosquitoes that express the Cas9 enzyme. The addition of this enzyme aids researchers in using CRISPR to edit the mosquitoes' genes. They started by disrupting "cuticle, wing, and eye development, producing yellow, three-eyed and wingless mosquitoes". The research in gene editing is new and the researchers at UC Berkley have a long-term goal of suppressing the insects while avoiding resistance. Past attempts to edit the mosquitoes' genome have been unsuccessful, yielding low mutation rates, poor survival rates, and inefficient transfer of the gene to offspring. Researchers now state that this was the first step to controlling mosquito population and the spread of disease. 
I think science has come very far and now that the editing of an animals genome is possible, just about anything is possible. Controlling the mosquito population will definitely aid in saving thousands of lives from diseases like malaria, west nile virus, and yellow fever.

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