A curated collection of articles from the popular press

What are gene drives, and how can they help eradicate invasive species in Australia?

Dr. Ellen Cottingham,  ABC News (Australia Broadcasting Corporation),  2023.
The impact of feral cats and other invasive species is felt across Australia. Not only do they threaten native species, but they can also spread diseases to humans and livestock. Invasive species are estimated to cost Australia an eye-watering $25 billion annually, while the ...
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Ghana publishes its guidelines on Genome Editing

Anonymous,  BusinessGhana,  2023.
Ghana's National Biosafety Authority (NBA) has published its guidelines on Genome Editing and Gene Stacks with regards Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) joining Nigeria, Kenya, and Malawi, as the fourth country in Africa with the guidelines. Genome editing is an emerging and ...
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New Techniques of Genetic Modification in Pest Control Spark Debate in Canada

Sandeep Kunchikor,  Express Healthcare Management,  2023.
Scientists in Canada are urging serious discussions on the use of genetic modification as a new technique in pest control. In a recent report by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency, a branch of Health Canada that regulates pesticide use, experts argue that genetic modification ...
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Scientific report urges debate on genetic modification to control insect pests

Bob Weber,  CTV News,  2023.
Scientists are learning to turn the genetics of insect pests against themselves, altering the genome of familiar foes in ways that give farmers and doctors new ways to fight them. The burgeoning field offers fresh hope against old scourges such as malaria. And it could provide ...
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Mosquito modification programme aiming to eliminate malaria receives US$15m

Hayley Dunning,  Imperial College London,  2023.
Half of the world’s population is at risk of contracting malaria, a disease caused by parasites that are transmitted from one person to another through bites from Anopheles mosquitoes. In 2021 alone, there were over 247 million cases and 619,000 deaths from malaria, mostly ...
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Inside Gates Foundation’s $15M effort to release gene-hacked mosquitoes that end malaria with ‘killer sex’

Jona Jaupi,  The U.S. Sun,  2023.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne disease caused by parasites and poses a significant threat to nearly half of the world's population. In 2021, an estimated 247 million people contracted malaria, with a staggering 619,000 deaths, per Imperial College. Most of those deaths affected ...
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What are gene drives?

Anonymous,  MalariaGEN,  2023.
Among the new generation of technological tools being developed to combat malaria, there is a lot of buzz around gene drives. This is a method for genetically modifying malaria-spreading mosquitoes and ultimately reducing or replacing their populations. But how exactly do gene ...
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Oxitec concludes GMO mosquito release phase

Anonymous,,  2023.
Oxitec and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District announced last week that the release phase during the third season of the FKMCD-Oxitec Mosquito Project has concluded for the 2023 season. Mosquito population monitoring will continue for the next several weeks.9
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The fight against malaria

Anonymous,  The Week,  2023.
Some scientists are betting on genetically modified mosquitoes. On the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, 200 miles off Africa’s west coast, University of California researchers are aiming to replace local mosquitoes with lab-tweaked insects that can’t transmit the ...
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Male-killing virus leads to more female moths

Anonymous,  Nature,  2023.
Keisuke Nagamine at Minami Kyushu University in Miyazaki, Japan, and his colleagues have identified another virus that kills male embryos of the tobacco caterpillar, Spodoptera litura. Female moths infected with the virus produced an equal number of male and female embryos, but ...
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Success of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in fighting dengue may be underestimated

B. Wampler,  Notre Dame News,  2023.
Now, researchers at the University of Notre Dame have conducted an analysis of the World Mosquito Program’s randomized control trial of Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes in Indonesia, looking at how excluding transmission dynamics impacted the original interpretation of the ...
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The fight against malaria

The Week US,  The Week,  2023.
Some scientists are betting on genetically modified mosquitoes. On the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe, 200 miles off Africa’s west coast, University of California researchers are aiming to replace local mosquitoes with lab-tweaked insects that can’t transmit the ...
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Research breakthrough in genetic biocontrol striving to transform pest management: Centre for Invasive Species Solutions

ARR News,  Australian Rural and Regional News,  2023.
A potential new non-lethal and ethical approach to control invasive mammal pests was showcased at a briefing held at the South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute in Adelaide on Tuesday 31 October. Hosted by the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions and the ...
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Bill Gates Talks Gene Drives, mRNA, and U.S.$40m in Science Funding

N. Mlambo,  allAfrica,  2023.
In 2003, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation launched the Grand Challenges initiative in order to find scientific solutions to these health challenges. Initially, the initiative focused on 14 scientific challenges including focusing on creating effective single-dose vaccines ...
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Genetic tools for conservation and health: What’s the Role of Gene Drive?

ISAAA,  Institute of Agricultural Science for Southern Viet Nam,  2023.
The potential uses and impacts of gene drive technologies have garnered increasing interest at the international and national levels across the world. As part of the effort to contribute to an informed debate around gene drive technologies, the Outreach Network for Gene Drive ...
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Dengue rates drop after release of modified mosquitoes in Colombia

M. Lenharo,  Nature,  2023.
Three cities in Colombia saw a dramatic fall in the incidence of dengue in the years following the introduction of mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia, a bacterium that prevents the insect from transmitting viruses. In neighbourhoods where the Wolbachia mosquitoes were well ...
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How mosquito-controlling bacteria might also enhance insect fertility

Public Library of Science,  Phys Org,  2023.
A new study reveals biological mechanisms by which a specific strain of bacteria in the Wolbachia genus might enhance the fertility of the insects it infects—with potentially important implications for mosquito-control strategies. Shelbi Russell of the University of California ...
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How Genetically Modified Mosquitos can end malaria in Africa – Dr. Santos

S. Akioye,  The Star,  2023.
With over 200 million cases every year and nearly 700,000 deaths, Malaria is currently one of Africa’s most dreaded sicknesses. While there have been efforts at finding different drugs for treatment, scientists are working on an innovative solution using genetically modified ...
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How to fight insects that transmit diseases to people without harming those who cannot?

Nation World News Desk,  Nation World,  2023.
One way to avoid this severe environmental impact is to specifically control the population of species that cause problems. This can be done chemically by releasing hormones into the environment that prevent passage to the adult stage, or pheromones that make them believe that a ...
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This Burkinabe researcher wants his groundbreaking work to wipe out malaria, altogether

B. Orucho and M. Ndengar,  The African Mirror,  2023.
ABDOULAYE Diabaté and his team are betting on gene technology to protect children like his own from malaria. Along with a clutch of brand-new vaccines, the technology could help the world end malaria for good.
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