Keywords: Australia

The epidemiology of imported and locally-acquired dengue in Australia, 2012–2022

Asma Sohail, Katherine L Anders, Sarah L McGuinness, Karin Leder,  Journal of Travel Medicine,  2024.
Dengue is the most important arboviral disease globally, and poses ongoing challenges for control including in non-endemic countries with competent mosquito vectors at risk of local transmission through imported cases. We examined recent epidemiological trends in imported and ...
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Consultation on a draft National Gene Drive Policy Guide

Commonwealth of Australia (Department of Health and Aged Care),  National Gene Technology Scheme,  2024.
The term gene drive is used to describe organisms which have been genetically modified to increase the rate for a particular trait to spread through a sexually reproducing population, spreading the genes or traits through a species at a faster rate than normal inheritance. ...
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Invasive Feral Cats Could Be Wiped Out Using Genetic Modification

Jess Thomson,  Newsweek,  2023.
Hordes of feral cats terrorizing native species in Australia could be combatted using a special type of genetic engineering, scientists have suggested. The cats, which came to Australia via European colonizers, regularly kill native mammals, birds, and reptiles, including ...
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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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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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Quantifying the impact of Wolbachia releases on dengue infection in Townsville, Australia

Ogunlade, S. T. Adekunle, A. I. Meehan, M. T. McBryde, E. S.,  Scientific Reports,  13:14932. 2023.
From October 2014 to February 2019, local authorities in Townsville, North Queensland, Australia continually introduced Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes to control seasonal outbreaks of dengue infection. In this study, we develop a mathematical modelling framework to estimate the ...
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Novel Conservation Strategies to Conserve Australian Marsupials

S. Legge, M. Hayward and A. Weeks,  American and Australasian Marsupials,  2023.
The Australian marsupial fauna has been devastated in the past 250 years, mainly due to impacts from invasive mammalian predators (cats and foxes), although other threats such as invasive herbivores, habitat loss and fragmentation, changes to fire regimes, and now climate change ...
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Public perspectives towards using gene drive for invasive species management in Australia

A. Mankad, E. V. Hobman and L. Carter,  CSIRO,  2022.
Many pest animal species live and reproduce in high numbers across Australia. This includes animal species, such as cane toads, feral cats, foxes, rodents, wild pigs, wild rabbits. These species significantly damage Australia’s agricultural industries, natural landscapes, and ...
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Australians open to using genetic technology to manage feral cats

CSIRO,  MIRAGE,  2022.
New genetic technologies could help address the rise of invasives through a number of ways, one of which is called gene drive. Gene drive can determine the sex of offspring, reducing the number of animals able to reproduce, and therefore over time driving down populations. ...
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International shipments of Wolbachia-infected mosquito eggs: towards the scaling-up of World Mosquito Program operations

J. A. Denton, D. A. Joubert, A. A. Goundar and J. R. L. Gilles,  Scientific and Technical Review,  41:91-99. 2022.
The Wolbachia insect control method, employed by the World Mosquito Program (WMP), relies on introgressing Wolbachia through target Aedes aegypti populations to reduce the incidence of dengue. Since 2010, the WMP has been producing Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes at numerous sites ...
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Conditions for Investment in Genetic Biocontrol of Pest Vertebrates in Australia

L. Carter, A. Mankad, S. Campbell, W. Ruscoe, K. P. Oh, P. R. Brown, M. Byrne, M. Tizard and T. Strive,  Frontiers in Agronomy,  3. 2022.
Managing pest vertebrate species in Australia is a significant challenge for government, industry, research sectors and land-managers. Innovative tools such as genetic biocontrol offers decision-makers a potentially effective means of reducing the impact of pest species ...
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A decade of stability for wMel Wolbachia in natural Aedes aegypti populations

P. A. Ross, K. L. Robinson, Q. Yang, A. G. Callahan, T. L. Schmidt, J. K. Axford, M. P. Coquilleau, K. M. Staunton, M. Townsend, S. A. Ritchie, M.-J. Lau, X. Gu and A. A. Hoffmann,  bioRxiv,  2021.10.27.466190. 2021.
Mosquitoes carrying Wolbachia endosymbionts are being released in many countries for arbovirus control. The wMel strain of Wolbachia blocks Aedes-borne virus transmission and can spread throughout mosquito populations by inducing cytoplasmic incompatibility. Aedes aegypti ...
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Conditional knockdown of transformer in sheep blow fly suggests a role in repression of dosage compensation and potential for population suppression

M. E. Williamson, Y. Yan and M. J. Scott,  PLOS Genetics,  17:e1009792. 2021.
In the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and in the mosquito Anopheles gambiae, a single gene (Sxl in D. melanogaster, fle in A. gambiae) controls the development of female-specific tissues and X chromosome dosage compensation, which is the equalization of X-linked gene products ...
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Trial suppresses mosquitoes using non-GMO approach

GM Watch,  GM Watch,  2021.
In a first for the Southern Hemisphere, researchers have shown that a bacterium can successfully suppress populations of the invasive, disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito that is responsible for spreading dengue, yellow fever and Zika. Published in PNAS (see abstract below), ...
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Invasive, disease-carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito sterilized with bacteria and eradicated in large-scale trial

CSIRO,  Phys Org,  2021.
In a first for the Southern Hemisphere, researchers have shown a bacteria can successfully sterilize and eradicate the invasive, disease carrying Aedes aegypti mosquito which is responsible for spreading dengue, yellow fever and Zika. The breakthrough could support the ...
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Releasing incompatible males drives strong suppression across populations of wild and Wolbachiat-carrying Aedes aegypti in Australia

N. W. Beebe, D. Pagendam, B. J. Trewin, A. Boomer, M. Bradford, A. Ford, C. Liddington, A. Bondarenco, P. J. De Barro, J. Gilchrist, C. Paton, K. M. Staunton, B. Johnson, A. J. Maynard, G. J. Devine, L. E. Hugo, G. Rasic, H. Cook, P. Massaro, N. Snoad, J.,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  118:e2106828118. 2021.
Through replicated treatment and control experiments in northern Australia, regular releases of Aedes aegypti males infected with a Wolbachia from Aedes albopictus was shown to drive strong population suppression in mosaic populations of wild-type (no Wolbachia) and ...
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$1M in funding for project to cull mouse plagues

K. Brown,  University of Adelaide NEWSROOM,  2021.
South Australian researchers are set to use genetic tools to help find innovative solutions to the devastating mouse plagues that have caused massive economic damage to Australian farmers.The University of Adelaide has been awarded $1 million in funding from the South Australian ...
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Selfish DNA: how new gene technology could stop the advance of mice

M. McMillan,  Tentenfield Star,  2021.
It used to be that seeing a mouse in the house was a rare occurrence. Now, it's rarely a day that goes by where we aren't seeing or hearing the little vermin. Current methods of baiting and trapping are struggling to control the plague of mice spreading across regional ...
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New biocontrol research to help prevent mice plagues

Anonymous,  The National Tribune,  2021.
Scientists at the University of Adelaide are partnering with the CSIRO and the Centre for Invasive Species Solutions on breakthrough genetic biocontrol research to help control mice populations and prevent future mice plagues. The three-year research program will identify fast ...
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“Gene Drive” Technology To Control Mouse Invasions | Liverpool City Champion

T. Carrington,  Liverpool IL,  2021.
As western New South Wales faces a devastating mouse plague, the government is investing in groundbreaking genetic biocontrol research that could transform pest management in Australia. Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said the NSW government will provide $ 1.8 million for the ...
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Mouse plague control hopes raised with funding for genetic biocontrol research

Anonymous,  From Press,  2021.
As communities and farmers continue to battle the mouse plague, a funding announcement for genetic biocontrol research could be a potential game changer for future plagues. The New South Wales government has today announced a $50 million mouse control package which includes $1.8 ...
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Scientists want to alter rodent genes to prevent mice plagues

P. Hannon,  The Sydney Morning Herald,  2021.
Mice plagues, such as the one ravaging parts of inland NSW, could become a thing of the past if scientists succeed in modifying the genes of the rodents so that populations crash before they can take off. Paul Thomas, a researcher at the University of Adelaide, is part of an ...
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Assisting Evolution: How Far Should We Go to Help Species Adapt?

E. Kolbert,  YaleEnvironment360,  2021.
It was a hot, intensely blue day in the Australian Outback, about 350 miles north of Adelaide. I was tagging along with Moseby as she checked the batteries on the motion-sensitive cameras that dot Arid Recovery, an ecosystem restoration project she and her husband launched in ...
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Should we dim the sun? Will we even have a choice

E. Klein,  New York Times,  2021.
“Under a White Sky” is going to be on my best books of 2021 list. It’s a wonderful work. Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sixth Extinction,” which you may have read. She is a staff writer at The New Yorker and just one of the great science ...
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Public attitudes towards synthetic biology

CSIRO,  Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform,  2021.
A national survey has been conducted by CSIRO’s Synthetic Biology Future Science Platform as an important first step in measuring public attitudes towards synthetic biology. The survey draws on the views of more than 8,000 Australians, and researchers are examining the data to ...
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CRISPR and the splice to survive: New gene-editing technology could be used to save species from extinction—or to eliminate them.

E. Kolbert,  New Yorker,  2021.
About a year ago, not long before the pandemic began, I paid a visit to the center, which is an hour southwest of Melbourne. The draw was an experiment on a species of giant toad known familiarly as the cane toad. The toad was introduced to Australia as an agent of pest control, ...
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Public Opinion Towards Gene Drive as a Pest Control Approach for Biodiversity Conservation and the Association of Underlying Worldviews

E. A. MacDonald, J. Balanovic, E. D. Edwards, W. Abrahamse, B. Frame, A. Greenaway, R. Kannemeyer, N. Kirk, F. Medvecky, T. L. Milfont, J. C. Russell and D. M. Tompkins,  Environmental Communication,  14:904-918. 2020.
Synthetic gene drive approaches are nascent technologies with potential applicability for pest control for conservation purposes. Responsible science mandates that society be engaged in a dialogue over new technology, particularly where there exist global ramifications as with ...
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Guidance for IBCs: Regulatory requirements for contained research with GMOs containing engineered gene drives

Office of the Gene Technology Regulator,  Australian Government, Department of Health,  2019.
This document provides guidance for Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) and researchers on the regulatory requirements for organisms containing engineered ‘gene drives’, including the physical containment (PC) level of facilities for notifiable low risk dealings ...
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