Render pests harmless – through genetic engineering CRISPR

Anonymous,  Breaking Latest News,  2023.

Whether ants or wild bees: It is undisputed that insects are indispensable for functioning ecosystems and thus for the survival of mankind. In agriculture, however, certain species can become a nuisance. Even insecticides do not always help and also harm the environment. Researchers and companies are now pursuing a new strategy: Instead of treating plants, they want to defuse the harmful insects with the help of CRISPR gene scissors. “Before CRISPR/Cas, the technology to manipulate pests simply didn’t exist,” says Peter Atkinson, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, who works on modifying the invasive cicada species. “We are now entering a new era in which genetic control of the problem seems quite realistic.” It would not only be an alternative to the use of insecticides, but also a strategy to strengthen crop defenses through genetic engineering.

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