Fruit fly breakthrough puts killer mozzies on notice

V. Tressider,  The Lighthouse,  2020.

A new designer fruit fly paves the way for scientists to replace disease-carrying mosquitoes with harmless, genetically modified versions, says Macquarie University researcher Dr Maciej Maselko.

Dr Maciej Maselko, a CSIRO Synthetic Biology Future Science Fellow in Applied Biosciences at Macquarie University, is part of a team that has engineered a new species of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in about a year, far outpacing the slow course of natural evolution.

In doing so, they have developed the foundational technology that will prevent genetically modified organisms (GMOs) from ‘getting away’ and reproducing with wild species.

The technology also opens the door to new approaches to precisely targeted biological control measures for invasive species and disease-carrying insects.

 


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