What are the potential applications of genetic biocontrol to address global problems?
Genetic biocontrol approaches are being considered to address several global problems that, despite our best efforts, have proven difficult to solve by other available means. By modifying or reducing the numbers of arthropod vectors, they could contribute to preventing transmission of infectious diseases causing illness and death to millions of people worldwide. For agriculture, similar technologies could help to reduce crop loss caused by insect pests, recently estimated to cost the world over $70 billion per year annually. For conservation, they have been proposed as a method for controlling invasive species that likewise cause enormous economic losses and threaten biodiversity.
Genetic biocontrol can be used in combination with other methods, offering a new chance to bring these global challenges under control.
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