Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Scientists use gene editing to control mosquito population

In an article written by Sciencedaily.com, researchers have been able to successfully disrupt the expression of genes associated with cuticle pigment as well as eye pigment.  The effects of this editing has changed the mosquitos cuticle pigment to yellow, eye color to yellow, lack of wings, and the addition of a third eye.  While this does not seem to mean much, they were able to disrupt those genes expressions by editing the mosquito's DNA to stably express the Cas9 enzyme.  By having the mosquitos express this enzyme, this opens the door for the researcher's long term goal of using the gene editing tool CRISPR in an attempt to suppress the growing mosquito population while avoiding resistance that evolution would favor.  This article was interesting because it showed how researchers are attempting to edit the genetic code of the mosquitos to alter their feeding method which would decrease the rate they spread disease.  This is the first big step in fully understanding the genomic code and how it can be changed or altered to prevent the spread of disease.

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