Scholarly Literature

This is a database of scholarly literature that concentrates currently on natural and engineered selfish genetic elements (gene drives).  The latest are shown here.

Converting endogenous genes of the malaria mosquito into simple non-autonomous gene drives for population replacement

A. Hoermann, S. Tapanelli, P. Capriotti, G. Del Corsano, E. K. G. Masters, T. Habtewold, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  eLife,  10. 2021.
Gene drives for mosquito population replacement are promising tools for malaria control. However, there is currently no clear pathway for safely testing such tools in endemic countries. The lack of well-characterized promoters for infection-relevant tissues and regulatory hurdles ...
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The Insect Pest Control Laboratory of the Joint FAO/IAEA Programme: Ten Years (2010–2020) of Research and Development, Achievements and Challenges in Support of the Sterile Insect Technique

M. J. B. Vreysen, A. M. M. Abd-Alla, K. Bourtzis, J. Bouyer, C. Caceres, C. de Beer, D. Oliveira Carvalho, H. Maiga, W. Mamai, K. Nikolouli, H. Yamada and R. Pereira,  Insects,  12. 2021.
The Joint FAO/IAEA Centre (formerly called Division) of Nuclear Techniques in Food and Agriculture was established in 1964 and its accompanying laboratories in 1961. One of its subprograms deals with insect pest control, and has the mandate to develop and implement the sterile ...
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CRISPR-mediated knock-in of transgenes into the malaria vector Anopheles funestus

C. Quinn, A. Anthousi, C. Wondji and T. Nolan,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.31.437891. 2021.
We describe herein an optimised transformation system based on the germline delivery of CRISPR components that allows efficient cleavage of a previously validated genomic site and preferential repair of these cut sites via homology-directed repair (HDR), which allows introduction ...
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Determining the Sterilization Doses under Hypoxia for the Novel Black Pupae Genetic Sexing Strain of Anastrepha fraterculus (Diptera, Tephritidae)

P. D. Giustina, T. Mastrangelo, S. Ahmad, G. Mascarin and C. Caceres,  Insects,  12. 2021.
Our study reports for the first time the dose-sterility response under hypoxia for two different A. fraterculus strains. The pupae were derived from a bisexual strain (a Brazilian-1 population) and a recently developed genetic sexing strain (GSS-89). Two hours prior to ...
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Systematic identification of plausible pathways to potential harm via problem formulation for investigational releases of a population suppression gene drive to control the human malaria vector Anopheles gambiae in West Africa

J. B. Connolly, J. D. Mumford, S. Fuchs, G. Turner, C. Beech, A. R. North and A. Burt,  Malaria Journal,  20:170. 2021.
Population suppression gene drive has been proposed as a strategy for malaria vector control. A CRISPR-Cas9-based transgene homing at the doublesex locus (dsxFCRISPRh) has recently been shown to increase rapidly in frequency in, and suppress, caged laboratory populations of the ...
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Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control

K. Willis and A. Burt,  PLOS Genetics,  17. 2021.
ynthetic gene drive systems that are able to spread though populations because they are inherited at a greater-than-Mendelian rate have the potential to form the basis for new, highly efficient pest control measures. The most efficient such strategies use natural gene flow to ...
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Sterile Insect Technique in an Integrated Vector Management Program against Tiger Mosquito Aedes albopictus in the Valencia Region (Spain): Operating Procedures and Quality Control Parameters

C. Tur, D. Almenar, S. Benlloch-Navarro, R. Argilés-Herrero, M. Zacarés, V. Dalmau and I. Pla,  Insects,  12. 2021.
The Agriculture Department of the Valencian Region is promoting an ongoing pilot project to evaluate the efficacy of an integrated vector management program (IVM) based on the use of the SIT as the main method of control. The laboratory studies for evaluating the entomological ...
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Quantifying the risk of vector-borne disease transmission attributable to genetically modified vectors

G. R. Hosack, A. Ickowicz and K. R. Hayes,  Royal Society Open Science,  8:201525. 2021.
The relative risk of disease transmission caused by the potential release of transgenic vectors, such as through sterile insect technique or gene drive systems, is assessed with comparison with wild-type vectors. The probabilistic risk framework is demonstrated with an assessment ...
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Experimenting with co-development: a qualitative study of gene drive research for malaria control in Mali

S. Hartley, K. Ledingham, R. Owen, S. Leonelli, S. Diarra and S. Diop,  Social Science and Medicine,  2021.
Our findings suggest co-development is opening up previously expert-dominated spaces as researchers attempt to take responsibility for the societal implications of their work. However, its main function is as a project management tool to enable and instrumentally support ...
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Ethics of Genome Editing

European Group on Ethics,  European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies,  2021.
This Opinion addresses the profound ethical questions raised and revived by them. It analyses various domains of application, from human health to animal experimentation, from livestock breeding to crop variety and to gene drives. With its wide view across areas, it identifies ...
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Evaluating unintended consequences of intentional species introductions and eradications for improved conservation management

D. E. Pearson, T. J. Clark and P. G. Hahn,  Conserv Biol,  2021.
We conducted a global literature review of these conservation actions to quantify how often unintended outcomes occur and to elucidate their underlying causes. We found that studies reported intended outcomes in 51% of cases, a combination of intended outcomes and unintended ...
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The ethical scientist in a time of uncertainty

L. Zoloth,  Cell,  184:1430-1439. 2021.
Using the example of gene drives for malaria control to explore the problem of deep uncertainty in biomedical research, I argue that profound uncertainty is an essential feature. Applying the language and presumptions of the discipline of philosophical ethics, I describe three ...
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Driving to Safety: CRISPR-Based Genetic Approaches to Reducing Antibiotic Resistance

E. Bier and V. Nizet,  Trends in Genetics,  2021.
The complex and challenging problem of reducing antibiotic resistance (AR) requires a network of both societal and science-based solutions to preserve the most lifesaving pharmaceutical intervention known to medicine. In addition to developing new classes of antibiotics, it is ...
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Ultra-conserved sequences in the genomes of highly diverse Anopheles mosquitoes, with implications for malaria vector control

S. M. O'Loughlin, A. J. Forster, S. Fuchs, T. Dottorini, T. Nolan, A. Crisanti and A. Burt,  G3-Genes Genomes Genetics,  2021.
Here we search for conserved sequences of 18bp and over in an alignment of 21 Anopheles genomes, spanning an evolutionary timescale of 100 million years, and characterise the resulting sequences according to their location and function. Over 8000 ultra-conserved elements were ...
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Meiotic Cas9 expression mediates genotype conversion in the male and female mouse germline.

A. J. Weitzel, H. A. Grunwald, R. Levina, V. M. Gantz, S. M. Hedrick, E. Bier and K. L. Cooper,  2021.03.16.435716,  2021.
We previously showed that such a system of genotype conversion from heterozygous to homozygous after a sequence targeted CRISPR/Cas9 double strand DNA break is feasible in the female mouse germline. In the male germline, however, all double strand breaks were instead repaired by ...
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Evading resistance to gene drives

R. Gomulkiewicz, M. L. Thies and J. J. Bull,  Genetics,  217. 2021.
Here, we develop mathematical and computational models to identify conditions under which suppression drives will evade resistance, even if resistance is present initially. Previous models assumed resistance is allelic to the drive. We relax this assumption and show that linkage ...
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Genetically Encoded CRISPR components Yield Efficient Gene Editing in the Invasive Pest, Drosophila suzukii

N. P. Kandul, E. J. Belikoff, J. Liu, A. Buchman, F. Li, A. Yamamoto, T. Yang, I. Shriner, M. J. Scott and O. Akbari,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.15.435483. 2021.
Here we have developed transgenic strains that encode three different terminators and four different promoters to express Cas9 in both the soma and/or germline of SWD. The Cas9 lines were evaluated through genetic crossing to transgenic lines that encode single guide RNAs ...
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Ugandan stakeholder hopes and concerns about gene drive mosquitoes for malaria control: new directions for gene drive risk governance

S. Hartley, R. D. J. Smith, A. Kokotovich, C. Opesen, T. Habtewold, K. Ledingham, B. Raymond and C. B. Rwabukwali,  Malaria Journal,  20:149. 2021.
The African Union’s High-Level Panel on Emerging Technologies identified gene drive mosquitoes as a priority technology for malaria elimination. The first field trials are expected in 5–10 years in Uganda, Mali or Burkina Faso. In preparation, regional and international ...
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Lessons from Drosophila: Engineering Genetic Sexing Strains with Temperature-Sensitive Lethality for Sterile Insect Technique Applications

T. N. M. Nguyen, A. Choo and S. W. Baxter,  Insects,  12. 2021.
Some of the most successful Genetic Sexing Strains (GSS) reared and released for SIT control were developed for Mediterranean fruit fly (Medfly), Ceratitis capitata, and carry a temperature sensitive lethal (tsl) mutation that eliminates female but not male embryos when heat ...
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Current Effector and Gene-Drive Developments to Engineer Arbovirus-Resistant Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) for a Sustainable Population Replacement Strategy in the Field

W. R. Reid, K. E. Olson and A. W. E. Franz,  J Med Entomol,  2021.
Conventional mosquito control efforts based on insecticide treatments and/or the use of bednets and window curtains are currently insufficient to reduce arbovirus prevalence in affected regions. Novel, genetic strategies that are being developed involve the genetic manipulation ...
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