Keywords: genetic biocontrol

Targeting female flight for genetic control of mosquitoes

D. Navarro-Payá, I. Flis, M. A. E. Anderson, P. Hawes, M. Li, O. S. Akbari, S. Basu and L. Alphey,  PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases,  14:e0008876. 2020.
The yellow fever mosquito and the Southern house mosquito are important vectors of infectious diseases. Given their widespread presence across tropical and subtropical regions of the world and the increased risk of spread due to global warming there is a growing need for ...
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Engineered Gene Drives and their Value in the Control of Vector-Borne Diseases, Weeds, Pests, and Invasive Species

K. Hefferon and R. Herring,  GMOs: Implications for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological Processes,  2020.
Genetic engineering has created potential for moving medical and agricultural research and application frontiers forward in unprecedented ways. Despite its accepted use as a powerful tool in medical research, genetic modification and genome editing technologies remain ...
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Genetically Engineered Fish: Potential Impacts on Aquaculture, Biodiversity, and the Environment

R. A. Dunham and B. Su,  GMOs: Implications for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological Processes,  2020.
Studies on transgenic fish for the aquaculture industry have focused on improving growth rates, enhancing disease resistance, altering body composition, acting as biological factories for medical proteins, and even altering temperature tolerance and coloration. The future impact ...
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Invasive Species Control and Resolution of Wildlife Damage Conflicts: A Framework for Chemical and Genetically Based Management Methods

L. Clark, J. Eisemann, J. Godwin, K. E. Horak, K. Oh, J. O’Hare, A. Piaggio, K. Pepin and E. Ruell,  GMOs: Implications for Biodiversity Conservation and Ecological Processes,  2020.
Vertebrate wildlife damage management relates to developing and employing methods to mitigate against damage caused by wildlife in the areas of food production, property damage, and animal or human health and safety. Of the many management tools available
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Strategic Approach, Advances, and Challenges in the Development and Application of the SIT for Area-Wide Control of Aedes albopictus Mosquitoes in Reunion Island

L. C. Gouagna, D. Damiens, C. F. Oliva, S. Boyer, G. Le Goff, C. Brengues, J.-S. Dehecq, J. Raude, F. Simard and D. Fontenille,  Insects,  11:770. 2020.

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Reply to: “Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported”

C. Souto-Maior, J. G. King, L. M. Sartori, R. Maciel-de-Freitas and M. G. M. Gomes,  Nature Communications,  11:6113. 2020.
Ant et al.4 claim that concerns with the data and broader analysis make our conclusions misleading. We herein respond to their comments by demonstrating the robustness of our results to different treatments of the data, and expand our arguments for replacing currently adopted ...
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Enhancement of Aedes aegypti susceptibility to dengue by Wolbachia is not supported

T. H. Ant, M.-V. Mancini, J. Martinez and S. P. Sinkins,  Nature Communications,  11:6111. 2020.
King et al.3 used DENV infection and transmission modelling to reinterpret experimental data from two previous studies4,5. The authors claimed that wMel Wolbachia increase the mean susceptibility of Ae. aegypti to DENV, contradicting various other studies6,7,8,9,10,11,12. Here, ...
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Split drive killer-rescue provides a novel threshold-dependent gene drive

M. P. Edgington, T. Harvey-Samuel and L. Alphey,  Scientific Reports,  10. 2020.
Population genetics mathematical models are developed here to demonstrate the threshold-dependent nature of the proposed system and its robustness to imperfect homing, incomplete penetrance of toxins and transgene fitness costs, each of which are of practical significance given ...
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‘A plague to be reckoned with’: UMN research creates a buzz with invasive fruit fly research

B. Most,  The Minnesota Daily,  2020.
n early November, assistant professor Mike Smanski published an article about a new breakthrough in this research, demonstrating for the first time this kind of genetic engineering was possible in the common fruit fly. This shows that researchers could engineer this work into ...
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Engineering biological diversity: the international governance of synthetic biology, gene drives, and de-extinction for conservation

J. L. Reynolds,  Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability,  49:1-6. 2020.
In the face of insufficient progress in conserving and restoring biodiversity, the in situ use of advanced genetic modification, gene drives, and other biotechnologies for conservation purposes are being considered, researched, and developed. This paper introduces the methods, ...
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Standardizing the Definition of Gene Drive

L. S. Alphey, A. Crisanti, F. Randazzo and O. S. Akbari,  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,  202020417. 2020.
As members of the gene drive community, we have developed a set of definitions to help stakeholders discuss the topic and communicate using a common understanding of terms.
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Gene drive blocks malaria transmission in mosquitoes

labonline,  labonline,  2020.
Employing a strategy known as ‘population modification’, which involves using a CRISPR-Cas9 gene drive system to introduce genes preventing parasite transmission into mosquito chromosomes, University of California (UC) researchers have made a major advance in the use of ...
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Expert advises farmers to adopt gene drive-based pest control technology

S. Thompson,  naija247news,  2020.
Dr Rose Gidado, County Coordinator, Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology(OFAB), has advised farmers to adopt the gene drive-based pest control technology. Gidado, also Deputy Director, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), said the adoption would significantly ...
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Advances in genetic engineering test democracy’s capacity for good decision-making

N. Kofler and R. Taitingfong,  Boston Globe,  2020.
New advances in genetic engineering and their application for environmental conservation and public health are further testing our democracy’s capacity for good decision-making. With minimal public input, the Environmental Protection Agency recently approved the release of ...
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Fighting Mosquito With GMO Mosquito: The Battle Brewing in the Florida Keys

S. MacLaughlin,  NBC 6 South Florida,  2020.
Scientists are a few months into an experiment to stop the invasive Aedes aegypti mosquito. Their weapon of choice? A genetically modified mosquito. But some environment advocates question the strategy. This year, the Florida Keys had an outbreak of Dengue fever, which was ...
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Florida will release 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes

S. McGlaun,  Slash Gear,  2020.
Local officials in Florida have announced that they have approved 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes to be released into the environment to reduce local populations of the bloodsucking creatures. The goal of releasing genetically modified mosquitoes is to help reduce the ...
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A gene-drive rescue system for the modification of malaria mosquito populations

A. Adolfi,  Nature Research Bioengineering Community,  2020.
Mosquito populations can now be reliably modified using 1) antimalarial molecules that block parasite development and 2) a CRISPR-based gene drive system that mediates their rapid spreading across the vector population.
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UC researchers pioneer more effective method of blocking malaria transmission in mosquitoes

UCI,  UCI News,  2020.
University of California, Irvine postdoctoral researcher Adriana Adolfi, in collaboration with colleagues at UCI, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego, followed up on the group’s pioneering effort to develop CRISPR-based gene drive systems for making mosquito vectors resistant to ...
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Efficient population modification gene-drive rescue system in the malaria mosquito Anopheles stephensi

A. Adolfi, V. M. Gantz, N. Jasinskiene, H.-F. Lee, K. Hwang, G. Terradas, E. A. Bulger, A. Ramaiah, J. B. Bennett, J. J. Emerson, J. M. Marshall, E. Bier and A. A. James,  Nature Communications,  11:5553. 2020.
Here, we develop a recoded gene-drive rescue system for population modification of the malaria vector, Anopheles stephensi, that relieves the load in females caused by integration of the drive into the kynurenine hydroxylase gene by rescuing its function. Non-functional resistant ...
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The Sterile Insect Technique: Success and Perspectives in the Neotropics

D. Perez-Staples, F. Diaz-Fleischer and P. Montoya,  Neotropical Entomology,  14. 2020.
Here, we review SIT in the Neotropics and focus on particular recent successful cases of eradication of the Mediterranean fruit fly, Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), as well as effective programs used against the Mexican fruit fly Anastrepha ludens (Loew), the New World screwworm ...
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Researchers help complete world first wasp genome project

Staff,  The National Tribune,  2020.
In a world first, New Zealand researchers have sequenced the genome of three wasps, two of which are invasive wasps in New Zealand, paving the way for new methods of control for these significant pests.
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Researchers complete world first wasp genome project

University of Otago,  Phys Org,  2020.
In a world first, New Zealand researchers have sequenced the genome of three wasps, two of which are invasive wasps in New Zealand, paving the way for new methods of control for these significant pests.
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WHO Releases a Position Statement on Genetically Modified Mosquitoes for the Control of Vector-Borne Diseases

E. R. Fletcher,  Health Policy Watch,  2020.
WHO announced their support for the continued investigation into genetically modified mosquitoes as an alternative to existing interventions to reduce or prevent vector-borne diseases.
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Genetic engineering and bacterial pathogenesis against the vectorial capacity of mosquitoes

M. Qasim, H. M. Xiao, K. He, M. A. A. Omar, F. L. Liu, S. Ahmed and F. Li,  Microbial Pathogenesis,  147:8. 2020.
Here we aimed to focus on the role of bacterial pathogenesis and molecular tactics for the management of mosquitoes and their vectorial capacity.
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FKMCD-OXITEC Mosquito Project

FKMCD and OXITEC,  Website,  2020.
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District (FKMCD) Board of Commissioners approved the FKMCD-Oxitec Investigational Agreement for the release of Oxitec’s Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This project will be overseen by FKMCD, the EPA and the Florida Department of Agriculture and ...
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Ethics and vector-borne diseases

WHO,  WHO Guidance,  2020.
The guidance was developed by an international group of experts in vector control, infectious disease ethics, maternal and child health, ecology and climate change, research and vaccine development, and public health communication. It examines a broad range of ethical ...
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Driven to Exterminate

Z. Moloo and J. Thomas,  etc group,  2020.
Gates’s ‘let’s deploy it’ response may not seem out of character, but it was an unusually gung ho response given how risky the technology is widely acknowledged to be.
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Florida to Release 750 Million GMO Mosquitoes in 2021

Seeker,  Seeker,  2020.
The U.S. EPA gave the green light to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys in 2021 — here’s what we know.
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Evaluation of genetically modified mosquitoes for the control of vector-borne diseases

Global Malaria Programme,  WHO - Position Statement,  2020.
In the spirit of fostering innovation, WHO takes the position that all potentially beneficial new technologies, including GMMs, should be investigated to determine whether they could be useful in the continued fight against diseases of public health concern. Such research should ...
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Towards rangatiratanga in pest management? Maori perspectives and frameworks on novel biotechnologies in conservation

S. Palmer, O. R. Mercier and A. King-Hunt,  Pacific Conservation Biology,  11. 2020.
We gathered Maori perspectives on novel biotechnological controls for pest wasps through three distinct studies. Study participants included tertiary students, businesses, and spiritual or religiously affiliated groups. All participants drew from their identities as Maori people ...
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Yes, Irradiated Sterile Male Mosquitoes Can Be Sexually Competitive!

J. Bouyer and M. J. B. Vreysen,  Trends in Parasitology,  2020.
Here, we argue that a reduction in quality of the produced sterile male insects is mostly related to the mass-rearing, handling, marking, and release processes, rather than radiation per se.
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Do Africans Want Genetically Modified Mosquitoes?

U. Effiong,  The Pursuit,  2020.
The recent publication by fellow Nigerian scientists—Patricia Okorie and colleagues—originally drew my attention to the issue of GMMs.
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You should be excited that scientists are releasing 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes this year

L. Westreich,  Massive Science,  2020.
GM mosquitoes are successful in reducing mosquito populations, and reducing disease spread
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The Con Job at Mosquito Control Board

E. Russo and B. Wray,,  2020.
Shouldn’t there be a consensus among scholars, scientists, experts and the public that this new technology is safe?
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Can a Genetically Modified Bug Combat a Global Farm Plague?

E. Nitler,  Wired,  2020.
Executives from the US-owned, but UK-based, firm Oxitec and its multinational partner Bayer announced today that they have developed a fall armyworm that has a self-limiting gene introduced into the male of the species.
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Dynamics of Wild and Sterile Mosquito Population Models with Delayed Releasing

L. M. Cai,  International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos,  30:15. 2020.
We extend the previous ODE models to the delayed releasing models in two different ways of releasing sterile mosquitos, where both constant and exponentially distributed delays are considered, respectively. By applying the theory and methods of delay differential equations, the ...
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The Evolving Arsenal Against Mosquito-Born Diseases

J. Smith,,  2020.
As the global climate continues to warm, disease-spreading mosquitoes such as Aedes aegypti are expected to establish themselves in the US and Europe.
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Engineering speciation events in insects may be used to control harmful pests

University of Minnesota,  Phys Org,  2020.
A team of scientists led by Mike Smanski, Ph.D., in the College of Biological Sciences (CBS) has generated speciation events in fruit flies so that engineered strains can reproduce normally with each other, but mating with unmodified flies results in non-viable offspring.
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Prospects and Pitfalls: Next-Generation Tools to Control Mosquito-Transmitted Disease

E. P. Caragata, S. Dong, Y. Dong, M. L. Simões, C. V. Tikhe and G. Dimopoulos,  Annual Review of Microbiology,  74:455-475. 2020.
A diverse array of next-generation tools has been designed to eliminate mosquito populations or to replace them with mosquitoes that are less capable of transmitting key pathogens.
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How to fight the deadly dengue virus? Make your own mosquitoes

J. Emont,  Wall Street Journal,  2020.
When the bacteria-laden male mosquitoes are released into the open and mate with naturally-born females, the resultant eggs won’t hatch.
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GMOs make war on mosquitoes

Staff,  Kenosha News,  2020.
Given that recent record, we were a bit surprised to read that there was a ruckus over genetically modified mosquitoes going on in the Florida Keys.
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Why Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Won’t Come to Texas Anytime Soon

C. Adams,  RA News,  2020.
Talks about releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in Houston began in 2018 between Harris County and Oxitec, a United Kingdom-based company that produces sustainable technologies or transgenic methodologies to stem the impact of disease-spreading insects. Talk also began ...
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Non-GMO approach reduces cases of mosquito-borne dengue by 77%

GM Watch,  GM Watch,  2020.
A randomized field trial found that mosquitoes infected with a natural bacterium called Wolbachia reduced cases of dengue by an "extraordinary" 77%.
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An accident waiting to happen: Tech company to release 750 MILLION GMO mosquitoes in Florida to fight dengue fever

Z. Sky,  NEWSTARGET,  2020.
Oxitec plans to release 750 million OX5034s into the Florida Keys, something that sounds like the beginning of a doomed science-fiction movie. But the most shocking thing here is the fact that Oxitec received the EPA’s approval in May.
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Genetically-modified mosquito plan offers hope for Keys, world

P. Goodman,,  2020.