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Selfish DNA and the Genetic Control of Vector-Borne Diseases
Date:11/20/2007

ghtly different mechanism involving clever molecular manipulations which result in the reduction of other genotypes. Recently, a synthetic form of one of these selfish elements, the Medea element, was created by researchers. This tame selfish element may be more tractable in the development of effectively modified mosquitoes, bringing researchers closer to the goal of reducing the transmission of pathogens by insect vectors.

To accomplish this goal, researchers working on the molecular biology of selfish DNA must combine forces with entomologists and population geneticists who study these same genes at the level of the organism or populations of organisms. This is a challenge because most individual researchers tend to interact only with others in their fields and often have only a superficial understanding and appreciation for work on other aspects of selfish genetic elements. In part this is because scientists from these different backgrounds do not often have an opportunity to interact and this hampers their ability develop fruitful collaborations.

To overcome this isolation, the organizers of this meeting are bringing together leading scientists working on this problem from different perspectives to exchange information and discuss new approaches for using selfish genetic elements to control vector-borne diseases. This kind of synthetic, cross-fertilization can lead to breakthroughs in research and advance the field by creating opportunities for new collaborations. The organizers hope to move the research forward in this field and shorten the time-line for producing a practical solution to controlling disease vectors.

Selfish DNA and the Genetic Control of Vector-Borne Diseases

WHEN: December 5-7, 2007

WHERE: National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent), Durham, NC, USA

ORGANIZERS: Fred Gould, North Carolina State University; Steven Sinkins, University of Oxford; Daniel Hartl, Harvard University
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Contact: Kristin Jenkins
kjenkins@nescent.org
919-668-4544
National Evolutionary Synthesis Center (NESCent)
Source:Eurekalert

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