Self-deleting genes tested as part of the concept of mosquito population control

charlottelarson,  NEWYORK NEWS TIMES,  2020.

Texas A & M scientists have developed a new technology for modifying mosquito genes. This new technology self-deletes genetic alterations from the mosquito’s genome. Thanks to the breakthroughs described in the Royal Society B’s Philosophical Transactions on Monday, researchers are now able to test experimental gene editing without permanently altering the mosquito’s genome. In a news release, Zack Edelman, a professor of entomology at the University of Texas A & M Agricultural University, said, “People are wary of transgenes spreading to the environment in uncontrolled ways. I feel it is a strategy that could prevent it. ” “The idea is whether the transgene can be programmed to remove itself, and the gene will not survive in the environment.” “In fact, how do you test your gene drive in a real-world scenario?” Adelman said. “What if something goes wrong? I think it’s one possible way to do risk assessment and field testing.” Most genetic engineering strategies designed to control mosquito populations, and their ability to spread diseases such as malaria, require gene editing to be combined with gene drives. Gene drives allow altered DNA to spread rapidly throughout the population.

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