A curated collection of articles from the popular press

Generation game: gene-edited mosquitos to fight malaria

J. Opara,  Sci Dev Net,  2023.
Population-level changes in the genetic make-up of one of the world’s deadliest animals could provide a key in the fight against malaria, proponents of a radical new technology argue. So-called gene drive technology, where genetic changes are passed down through generations, ...
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Oxitec Launches New Technology Program to Develop a Friendly™ Solution for the World’s Most Damaging Cattle Tick

Oxitec Ltd,  Oxitec Press Release,  2023.
Oxitec Ltd, the leading developer of insect-based biological solutions to control pests that transmit disease, destroy crops and harm livestock, today announced the launch of development of a targeted, biological Friendly™ solution for the world’s most devastating cattle ...
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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. ...
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Genetically Engineered Mosquito experiment in California’s Central Valley halted

H. Bourque,  Friends of the Earth,  2023.
In a victory for environmentalists, scientists and vulnerable agricultural communities across California, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced yesterday the withdrawal of a permit request for a mass release of experimental genetically engineered ...
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Massive mosquito factory in Brazil aims to halt dengue

M. Lenharo,  Nature,  2023.
The non-profit World Mosquito Program (WMP) has announced that it will release modified mosquitoes in many of Brazil’s urban areas over the next 10 years, with the aim of protecting up to 70 million people from diseases such as dengue. Researchers have tested the release of ...
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In The Face Of Nigerian Mosquito Nets, Westerners’ Gene Editing Offers Hope

O. Onwumere,  The Nigerian Voice,  2023.
In Nigeria, the utilization of mosquito nets is prevalent, while in the Western world, optimism is associated with the implementation of gene editing technology. In this article, ODIMEGWU ONWUMERE reports that malaria could soon be eradicated in Nigeria. According to US ...
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First transgenic mosquito made in Africa by Transmission Zero

H. Dunning,  Imperial College London,  2023.
Transmission Zero, a global scientific programme led by scientists at Imperial College London and the Ifakara Health Institute (IHI) of Tanzania, in partnership with the Tanzanian National Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), announces the generation of the first transgenic ...
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Groundbreaking Partnership to Combat Dengue Mosquito in the Republic of the Marshall Islands Will Deploy Oxitec Friendly™ Aedes aegypti Solution

Oxitec,,  2023.
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has selected Oxitec’s Friendly™ Aedes aegypti solution for a new pilot intervention to control the disease-spreading invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito. The project is a partnership between the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the Pacific ...
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Evolution driven by genetic engineering should be known as ‘genetic welding’ to draw scientific and ethical scrutiny

S. Moore,  AZO Life Sciences,  2023.
The advent of CRISPR-Cas9 technology has been revolutionary, but it has also been highly controversial. In an opinion paper published in the journal Trends in Genetics, evolutionary geneticist Asher Cutter highlights the importance of coining the term ‘genetic welding’ for ...
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What should we call evolution driven by genetic engineering? Genetic welding, says researcher

Cell Press,  Phys Org,  2023.
With CRISPR-Cas9 technology, humans can now rapidly change the evolutionary course of animals or plants by inserting genes that can easily spread through entire populations. Evolutionary geneticist Asher Cutter proposes that we call this evolutionary meddling “genetic ...
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Gene Drives Are Coming

D. Lowe,  Science,  2023.
Consider the “gene drive” idea - there are a lot of variations, but the general idea is that you introduce a genetic sequence into an organism that can bias (drive) its own inheritance into the next generation. This is a thumb-on-the-scale unnatural selection if ever there ...
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Scientists disable protective gene in mosquitoes, making them susceptible to disease

Texas A&M University,  Phys Org,  2023.
Immune pathways that protect mosquitoes from human pathogens, including West Nile, Zika and dengue viruses were disabled by Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists. The research study, "RNA interference is essential to modulating the pathogenesis of mosquito-borne viruses in the ...
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Galapagos to receive male mosquitoes for vector control in Ecuador

A. R. Martin,  Prensa Latina,  2023.
The Galapagos Islands will receive 100,000 sterile male mosquitoes as part of a new vector control strategy in Ecuador, the Center for Research in Infectious and Vector Diseases (CIREV) announced. Reducing the Aedes aegypti in Ecuador is in charge of the National Institute for ...
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Gene Drive Technology With Agricultural Application Potential

R. Carmeli-Peslak,  SeedWorld,  2023.
Gene drive technology, a genetic phenomenon that occurs in nature, causes a trait to spread in species through sexual reproduction over many generations. The inheritance rate is higher than the Mendelian rate which is 50%. Gene drives have been used for public health and ...
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Will new genetic engineering tech finally eliminate malaria?

Anonymous,  Business Daily,  2023.
Richard Mukabana, a senior research and policy analyst at African Institute for Development Policy, says the technology which employs the principle of sending a thief to catch a thief may yet prove the most effective. “It is only a mosquito that knows where another mosquito is ...
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White-Eyed Fruit Flies: How Improvements in Gene Editing Could Aid in Pest Managemen

C. Bernhardt,  Entomology Today,  2023.
The SIT involves scientists raising the target fruit fly species in the lab, sterilizing the flies by exposing them to a certain amount of radiation while they are still pupae, and releasing large amounts of the newly sterile flies into nature. When the released, sterile flies ...
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Introducing Emerging Health Technologies in Africa

Health Tech Africa,  Health Tech Africa Podcast,  2023.
In this episode, the Project Director of the Platform for Dialogue and Action on Health Technologies in Africa, Professor Richard Mukabana, discusses new technologies that if well developed and proven safe and effective, have enormous potential to eradicate disease on the ...
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Social justice environmental activists move to block gene editing to control invasive species and promote biodiversity. Here’s why they’re misguided

S. Smyth,  Genetic Literacy Project,  2023.
Control of invasive species has been extremely difficult with eradication virtually impossible. To control invasive plant species, chemicals are commonly used while in some instances removal of plants by hand, as Shiva advocates, is undertaken. Efforts to control invasive animals ...
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Biopolitik: The Promise of Gene Drive

S. Todi,  Technopolitik,  2023.
Gene drives are genetic elements of an organism that are transmitted to progeny at higher than mendelian frequencies (>50%). Gene editing techniques such as CRISPR–Cas9 have made gene drives extremely efficient in laboratory settings and have shown the potential to reduce the ...
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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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