Navigation Links
New model reveals pesticide-free method that takes a bite out of mosquito-borne disease
Date:2/10/2011

Scientists have modeled a system that may be used to control mosquitoes and the diseases they transmit, without the use of pesticides. In the proposed system, mosquitoes are engineered to carry two genes. The first gene causes males to transmit a toxin to females through their semen. The second gene, when expressed in females, makes them immune to this toxin. This research, published in the February 2011 issue of Genetics (http://www.genetics.org), describes a system that can be created using currently available molecular tools and could confine the spread of mosquitoes to isolated populations. It also allows the genes to be recalled if necessary.

"I hope that the results of this theoretical study will inspire molecular biologists to explore new ways of driving transgenes into populations," said John M. Marshall, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, School of Public Health at the Imperial College of London in the United Kingdom. "Ultimately, I hope that the application of these ideas will help move transgenic mosquito technology forward, and thereby contribute to the many efforts to reduce the prevalence of malaria and dengue fever in disease-endemic countries."

The gene transfer system was modeled using mathematical equations that describe how genetic alterations in the mosquitos' DNA are inherited from one generation to the next, and predict how these alterations will either spread or be eliminated from the population. The system has two basic componentsa toxin expressed in the semen of transgenic males that either kills female recipients or renders them infertile, and an antidote expressed in females that protects them from the effects of the toxin. An all-male release should result in population suppression because wild females that mate with transgenic males produce no offspring. A release that includes transgenic females propagates the desired gene because females carrying the toxin gene are favored at high population frequencies.

The scientists used simple population genetics models to explore the utility of this gene-transfer system, and found that it can work under a wide range of conditions. It requires a high frequency of gene transfer, which is desirable because it means that genetically altered insects released accidentally are unlikely to persist in the wild. Furthermore, it means that those released intentionally can be spatially confined and that the altered genes can be removed from a population through sustained release of wild-type insects. The scientists found few technical barriers to implementing this system, increasing prospects for engineering and testing in the coming years.

"Mosquito bites can mean more than an itchy annoyance," said Mark Johnston, Editor-in-Chief of the journal GENETICS. "For far too many people, they can lead to life-threatening diseases. But mosquitoes play a role in the greater ecosystem, and completely eradicating them may have unintended consequences that could be worse than the diseases they carry. This study is exciting because it suggests a way to control mosquito populations without pesticides, and in a way that gives us control of the process."


'/>"/>

Contact: Tracey DePellegrin Connelly
td2p@andrew.cmu.edu
412-268-1812
Genetics Society of America
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. New discoveries improve climate models
2. Mathematical model could help predict and prevent future extinctions
3. Purdue team creates engineered organ model for breast cancer research
4. Go figure: Math model may help researchers with stem cell, cancer therapies
5. Simple, ingenious way to create lab-on-a-chip devices could become a model for teaching and research
6. Mathematical model explains how complex societies emerge, collapse
7. Malaria modeling and control focus of workshop
8. Consortium studying mathematical modeling of influenza infection
9. Isogenic cell models for cancer research exclusively licensed to Horizon Discovery
10. La Jolla Institute validates Type 1 diabetes computer models predictive success through lab testing
11. Researchers devise computer model for projecting severity of flu season
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/18/2017)... a global expert in SoC-based imaging and computing solutions, has developed ... the company,s hybrid codec technology. A demonstration utilizing TeraFaces ® , ... showcased during the upcoming Medtec Japan at Tokyo Big Sight April ... Vegas Convention Center April 24-27. ... Click here for an image of the M820 ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... According to a new market research report "Consumer IAM Market ... Authorization), Service, Authentication Type, Deployment Mode, Vertical, and Region - Global Forecast ... from USD 14.30 Billion in 2017 to USD 31.75 Billion by 2022, ... ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... No two people are believed to ... York University Tandon School of Engineering and Michigan ... partial similarities between prints are common enough that ... and other electronic devices can be more vulnerable ... in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems feature ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2017)... Colorado (PRWEB) , ... May 23, 2017 , ... A ... as the most troublesome and difficult to control weed in 12 categories of broadleaf ... , Almost 200 weed scientists across the U.S. and Canada participated in the 2016 ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 22, 2017 , ... A new Technology Hot ... California, this August will feature high-level speakers on quantum devices, graphene electronic tattoo ... and Photonics, the largest multidisciplinary optical sciences meeting in North America, will run ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Bacterial biofilms, surface adherent ... can cause diverse pathologies ranging from food poisoning and catheter infections to gum disease ... in the tens of billions of dollars per year, there is currently a paucity ...
(Date:5/22/2017)... , ... May 22, 2017 , ... ... with other leaders of the Maryland Biohealth community in developing and issuing recommendations ... Top 3 U.S. BioHealth Innovation Hub by 2023. , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: