Gene Editing Could Render Mosquitos Infertile

U.S. Army DEVCOM Army Research Laboratory Public Affairs,  U.S. Army,  2021.

Researchers at the Army’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and the University of California Santa Barbara used a gene editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9 to target a specific gene tied to fertility in male mosquitoes. CRISPR-Cas9 is a genome editing tool that is creating a buzz in the science world, according to It is “faster, cheaper and more accurate than previous techniques of editing DNA and has a wide range of potential applications.” Researchers experimented with the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate regions throughout the world. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, discerned how a mutation can suppress the fertility of female mosquitoes. “This is yet one more important and exciting example of how synthetic biology tools are demonstrating unparalleled utility,” said Dr. James Burgess, ICB program manager for the U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command, now known as DEVCOM, Army Research Laboratory. “In this case, it’s a precision increase from chainsaw to a scalpel leading to the correct biochemical outcome that could substantially reduce the population of a very infectious mosquito.”

More related to this:

Public opinion on gene editing

Gene drives in our future: challenges of and opportunities for using a self-sustaining technology in pest and vector management

Governing extinction in the era of gene editing

What is genome editing?