Combating Mosquito-Borne Diseases with CRISPR

N. Spahich,  The Scientist,  2022.

Female mosquitoes are some of the deadliest organisms in the world due to their ability to spread infectious diseases through a simple bite. Mosquito-borne diseases such as yellow fever, Zika, Dengue fever, and malaria kill millions of humans every year, and there are limited therapeutics for their prevention and treatment. While in college, Omar Akbari worked as a public service intern testing the local mosquito population for human pathogens and eradicating these insects with chemicals. During this experience, he felt dissatisfied with the insecticide-based method of controlling mosquito population and wanted to find a better way to tackle the problem of mosquito-borne disease spread. With a multidisciplinary team in his laboratory at the University of California, San Diego, he now develops tools through genetic engineering techniques such as CRISPR to solve the world’s insect control problems.

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