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True2Ourselves Forums   > Community Topics > Christianity & Science  > The Wipeout Gene: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Cripples its own Offspring

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  #1  
Old 11-26-2011, 10:32 PM
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Default The Wipeout Gene: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Cripples its own Offspring

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Throughout a swath of subtropical and tropical countries, four closely related dengue viruses infect about 100 million people annually, causing a spectrum of illness—from flu-like aches to internal hemorrhaging, shock and death. No vaccine or cure exists. As with other mosquito-borne diseases, the primary public health strategy is to prevent people from being bitten. To that end, authorities attempt to rid neighborhoods of standing water where the insects breed, spray with insecticides, and distribute bed nets and other low-tech mosquito blockers. They pursue containment, not conquest.

Anthony James, however, is mounting an offensive. James, a molecular biologist at the University of California, Irvine, and his colleagues have added genes to A. aegypti that block the development of flight muscles in females. When a genetically modified male mosquito mates with a wild female, he passes his engineered genes to the offspring. The females—the biters—don’t survive long. When they emerge from the pupal stage, they sit motionless on the water. They won’t fly, mate or spread disease. The male progeny, in contrast, will live to spread their filicidal seed. In time, the absence of female offspring should lead to a population crash, which James’s collaborator has already demonstrated in the controlled environment of an indoor laboratory in Colorado. Now he has brought his bugs south.
The Wipeout Gene: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Cripples its own Offspring - Scientific American
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Old 11-27-2011, 12:39 AM
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Default Re: The Wipeout Gene: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Cripples its own Offspring

What might that mean for frogs and other creatures that feast on mosquitoes?

It is a great idea for mankind.
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Old 11-27-2011, 08:10 AM
Giuliano
 
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Default Re: The Wipeout Gene: Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Cripples its own Offspring

I don't see how it could work unless the genetically modified males are more sexually active than the non-modified ones. You would still have regular males and females breeding and producing regular offspring.

If the modified and non-modified males were equally likely to have offspring, why wouldn't each generation of mosquitoes mirror the previous one?
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