Genetically modified mosquitoes could prove effective in tackling dengue fever

Discussion in 'Science and Technology' started by hvactec, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. hvactec
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    hvactec VIP Member

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    Genetically modified mosquitoes could prove effective in tackling dengue fever and other insect-borne diseases, a UK-based scientific team has shown.

    The male mosquitoes are modified so their offspring die before reproducing.

    In a dengue-affected part of the Cayman Islands, researchers found the GM males mated successfully with wild females.

    In Nature Biotechnology journal, they say such mating has not before been proven in the wild, and could cut the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes.

    Dengue is caused by a virus transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito as it bites.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that there may be 50 million cases each year, and the incidence is rising, with some countries reporting what the WHO terms "explosive" outbreaks.

    As yet, there is no vaccine.

    Radiation damage

    As far back as the 1940s, it was realised that releasing sterile males into the wild could control insects that carried disease or were agricultural pests.

    When females breed with the sterile males rather than wild fertile ones, there will be no viable offspring, meaning there are fewer mosquitoes around to transmit the disease.

    In the 1950s, the screwworm fly was eradicated from the Caribbean island of Curacao using males sterilised by radiation.

    But the technology has not worked so well with disease-carrying insects.

    Generally, the sterilising process weakens the males so much that they struggle to mate; the wild males are dominant.

    Oxitec, a company spun off from Oxford University, uses a genetic engineering approach.

    Offspring of their GM males live through the larval stage but die as pupae, before reaching adulthood.

    In the latest study, the research group - which includes scientists from Imperial College London and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine - released batches of GM mosquitoes in 2009 in an area of the Cayman Islands where Aedes aegypti are common, and dengue sometimes present.

    [​IMG]

    read more BBC News - GM mosquitoes show fever promise
     
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  2. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    I hope it works. But before considering applying it to all mosquito species, one should consider their place in the ecology.
     
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  3. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Mosquitoes are being genetically engineered to kill their own offspring...
    :cool:
    Mosquitoes may be used to kill their offspring
    Monday, October 31, 2011 - Research is arousing concern about possible unintended consequences
     
  4. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Global recession affects fight against diseases...
    :eusa_eh:
    Cash crisis hits disease battle
    24 November 2011 - Projects to protect people against diseases including malaria are under threat
     
  5. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Anti-malaria breakthrough...
    :clap2:
    Scientists Provide Template for Developing New Anti-malarial Drug
    January 18, 2012 - In a medical breakthrough, scientists have determined the workings of a protein vital to the parasite that causes malaria, a disease that annually sickens more than 200 million people around the world, and kills more than 500,000. Researchers say their analysis of the protein reveals an important weakness in the microscopic parasite, and provides a good starting point for new anti-malarial drugs.

     
  6. Ringel05
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    Ringel05 Diamond Member

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    I see a sci-fi, horror flick coming out of this...........
     
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  7. whitehall
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    whitehall Gold Member

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    "A UK based scientific team has shown"....why am I not encouraged by that source? We can't control the mosquito population anywhere so what happens if the UK scientific team" breeds a super mosquito that transmits the plague?
     
  8. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    More malaria deaths than first thought...
    :eusa_eh:
    Study: Malaria Kills More People Than Previously Thought
    Thursday, February 2nd, 2012: A new study shows that malaria could be killing many more people than some experts previously thought.
     
  9. waltky
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    waltky Wise ol' monkey Supporting Member

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    Granny says is one o' dem end-time plagues inna Bible, an' we all gonna die...
    :eek:
    Experts Troubled by New Dengue Outbreaks in Western Hemisphere
    May 17, 2012 - Dengue fever - a tropical disease once confined mainly to Africa and Asia - has become a growing problem in the Americas. So far, there is no drug to treat the mosquito-borne viral disease or any vaccine to prevent the infection.
     
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    Last edited: May 21, 2012
  10. nitroz
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    nitroz INDEPENDENTly ruthless

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    Heres a good one: Genetically modify them to avoid most living creatures and to kill eachother.

    Fucking hate mosquitos.
     

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