A curated collection of articles from the popular press

How CRISPR could help save crops from devastation caused by pests

E. F. Merchant,  MIT Technology Review,  2023.
Researchers are now looking to add cutting-edge technology to California’s anti-Pierce’s arsenal, by changing the genome of the glassy-winged sharpshooter so that it can no longer spread the bacterium. Such a solution is possible thanks to CRISPR gene-editing technology, ...
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Imperial startup Biocentis to develop genetic tech to control harmful insects

D. Silverman,  Imperial College London,  2023.
The Imperial startup was founded in 2022 by Imperial researchers in partnership with technology-focused investment group Neurone to create a more effective and sustainable alternative to pesticides. While insects play an essential role in the global ecosystem, among the ...
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Researchers Create New System for Safer Gene-Drive Testing and Development

M. Aguilera,  UC San Diego Today,  2023.
In the journal Nature Communications, University of California San Diego researchers led by former Postdoctoral Scholar Gerard Terradas together with Postdoctoral Scholar Zhiqian Li and Professor Ethan Bier, in close collaboration with UC Berkeley graduate student Jared Bennett ...
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Biotech company released 2.4 billions GM Mosquitoes in two parts of the U.S

C. Victorial,  NEWSBREAK,  2022.
Due to the high death rate that mosquitoes have inflicted, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the release of 2.4 billion genetically modified mosquitoes in selected regions of California and Florida. These modified mosquitoes were created by a biotechnology ...
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How Selfish Genes Succeed: Critical Insights Uncovered About Dangerous DNA

New findings from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research uncover critical insights about how a dangerous selfish gene—considered to be a parasitic portion of DNA—functions and survives. Understanding this dynamic is a valuable resource for the broader community studying ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes … could CRISPR gene editing end malaria?

D. Wells,  SelectScience,  2022.
Despite being a preventable and treatable disease, malaria is currently affecting the lives of more than 200 million people.1 This results in over half a million deaths per year, with 80% of this mortality occurring in children under the age of 5.2 In addition to the tragic ...
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New CRISPR tech makes it possible to wipe out invasive mice

,  2022.

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East Maui project hopes mosquito v. mosquito mating battle will save endangered birds

K. Cerizo,  MAUINOW,  2022.

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Good news in the fight against vector-borne diseases

K. Magori,  ,  2022.
At the turn of the century, several research groups attempted to apply modern genetic methodologies to achieve similar outcomes without the need for irradiation and the resulting fitness costs. Luke Alphey and his colleagues at Oxford University developed a dominant lethal ...
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Experts urge caution over biotech that can wipe out insect pests

L. Fauvel,  Phys Org,  2022.
Dozens of scientists, experts and campaigners called for a ban on the release of genetically-edited organisms into the wild, in a statement Friday warning of potentially severe risks to the world's pollinators. The appeal was launched at crunch biodiversity talks in Montreal, ...
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How selfish genes succeed

Stowers Institute for Medical Research,  ScienceDaily,  2022.
A new study reveals how a selfish gene in yeast uses a poison-antidote strategy that enables its function and likely has facilitated its long-term evolutionary success. This strategy is an important addition for scientists studying similar systems including teams that are ...
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A natural gene drive could steer invasive rodents on islands to extinction

B. Brookshire,  ScienceNews,  2022.
In the battle against the invasive house mouse on islands, scientists are using the rodent’s own genes against it. With the right tweaks, introducing a few hundred genetically altered mice could drive an island’s invasive mouse population to extinction in about 25 years, ...
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East African policy dialogue on research of genetically modified mosquitoes for malaria control and elimination

C. Mugoya,  Target Malaria,  2022.
The East African Community Secretariat, in collaboration with the East African Health Research Commission; NEPAD, AFIDEP and IFAKARA Health Institute recently convened an East African regional dialogue in Dar es salaam, Tanzania from 17-19 November 2022 to deliberate the way ...
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Oxitec’s mosquitoes are getting “friendly” with California

L. Patrick,  The Sun Gazette,  2022.
Biotech company Oxitec is buzzing around Visalia, with the hopes of releasing their genetically engineered mosquitoes in Tulare County. Oxitec has one more hurdle to jump over in order to release their “friendly” Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Tulare County, and that’s to gain ...
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Scientist Recommends Gene Drive Strategies Of Pest Control To Increase Food Security

L. Agbo,  allnews,  2022.
A Nigerian scientist, Dr. Rose Gidado has recommended that Nigerian policymakers and farmers adopt the technology of a gene drive-based pest management technique in order to increase bumper harvest and food security.In an interview with NAN on Monday in Abuja, Gidado, the Deputy ...
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That new chestnut? USDA plans to allow the release of GE trees into wild forests

D. E. Davis,  The Hill,  2022.
In the 21st century, there are those who believe the trees can be resuscitated via genetic engineering (GE). In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has just released a draft environmental impact statement and draft plant pest risk assessment that will allow the ...
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Should NZ use contentious gene tech in our war on pests?

J. Morton,  NZ Herald,  2022.
Gene-altering technology could offer “breakthrough opportunities” for saving our pest-threatened species, a new future-scoping report says, but there’d be some tricky issues to address before it’d be a realistic option. Scientists have already been exploring how these ...
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Discovery of 119-Million-Year-Old “Selfish” Genes Casts Doubt on Established Evolution Beliefs

Stowers Institute for Medical Research,  SciTechDaily,  2022.
Meiotic drivers, a kind of selfish gene, are indeed selfish. They are found in virtually all species’ genomes, including humans, and unjustly transfer their genetic material to more than half of their offspring, resulting in infertility and impaired organism health. Their ...
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Turns Out Fighting Mosquitoes With Mosquitoes Actually Works

E. Mullin,  Wired,  2022.
In the Brazilian city of Indaiatuba, an effort is underway to eliminate these pests before they have a chance to spread illness. The weapon: more Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—but ones genetically engineered to kill their own kind. Made by British biotechnology firm Oxitec, the ...
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Should we use a genetic weapon against mosquitoes carrying malaria?

T. H. Saey,  ScienceNewsExplores,  2022.
In a large laboratory cage, a male mosquito carries a genetic weapon that could launch the destruction of his species. That loss could also mean the end of the parasite that causes malaria. The weapon? A self-replicating bit of DNA known as a gene drive. It’s one of the most ...
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