November 8, 2023 @ 12:00-1:00 PM 1115 11th Street, SacramentoTalk by Dr. Nikolay Kandul from UC San Diego and Professor Chris Barker, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis
In this session, Professor Chris Barker and Dr. Nikolay Kandul will address the critical issue of mosquito control and the prevention of mosquito-borne diseases in California. Professor Barker will present his laboratory’s work on tracking and mapping invasive mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus, dengue, Zika, and chikungunya, which have been increasingly detected in places like southern California and the Central Valley in recent years. His research highlights the need for a better understanding of the fine-scale processes that affect spread and control. Dr. Kandul will then introduce a cutting-edge solution for mosquito control—the Next-Generation Sterile Insect Technique (ngSIT). By crossing two mosquito strains to release ngSIT eggs that develop into sterile male mosquitoes, this innovation offers cost-effective, environmentally friendly mosquito suppression without compromising male mosquito fitness, longevity, or competitiveness in the environment. This holds the potential to work across different mosquito species and multiple species simultaneously, representing a significant advancement in safeguarding California from these disease-carrying insects.
Professor Chris Barker is a professor in the Department of Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Baker studies the epidemiology and ecology of mosquito-transmitted viruses, and he directs California’s central diagnostic laboratory and related data management systems for surveillance of mosquito-borne viruses. Dr. Barker has M.S. degrees in epidemiology and entomology and a Ph.D. in medical entomology.
Dr. Nikolay Kandul is an evolutionary biologist from Harvard and Duke Universities where he dissected genetic origins of new species. Shifting to genetic engineering, he pioneered mitochondrial DNA tech at Caltech, uncovering cell rejuvenation. At UC San Diego, he created innovative tools like pgSIT and CRISPR-driven gene drive for insect control. Co-founding Synvect, he is dedicated to finding practical solutions for mosquito control in real-world settings.
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Malaria, a deadly disease claiming the lives of over 600,000 people annually, has been a global health challenge for far too long. But what if I told you there's a remarkable breakthrough on the horizon that could transform how we prevent and combat this devastating disease? Dr. Omar Akbari and his team have achieved the seemingly impossible. They've developed innovative techniques for editing malaria genes within mosquitoes, opening a new chapter in the fight against this ancient scourge. This discovery has the potential to revolutionize the way we approach not just malaria but numerous other dangerous diseases carried by insects. In this episode, we'll explore the science behind this groundbreaking research, its implications for global health, and the journey that led Dr. Akbari to this momentous breakthrough. Get ready to be inspired and informed as we delve into the world of gene editing and its profound impact on disease prevention. So, whether you're a science enthusiast, a global health advocate, or simply eager to learn about the incredible strides being made to save lives, you're in for a treat! Without further ado, let's welcome Dr. Omar S. Akbari to the show! --- 🔗 Stay connected with Future Here: Website: https://www.future-here.com Twitter / X: https://twitter.com/futurehereshow Instagram: https://instagram.com/futurehereshow Facebook: https://facebook.com/futurehere Future Here covers cutting-edge science and technology that has the potential to help solve some of humankind's biggest challenges. Listen to the Future Here podcast: Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list... Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/3IpdF1w... Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/fi/podcast... Google Podcasts: https://podcasts.google.com/feed/aHR0... Topics include: AI Biotech Renewable energy Solar power Quantum computing Space exploration and other interesting future technology
Researchers at UC San Diego are working on genetic modifying technology .. that could eventually wipe-out much of the world's "malaria-carrying mosquitoes."
UCSD biologist Omar Akbari tells KNX .. they're genetically altering male mosquitoes - to take aim at their female counterparts.
Akbari says .. they are honing in on just a few mosquito species - that carry and spread malaria .. so it's NOT about wiping-out ALL female mosquitoes.
For the first time in at least 20-years, malaria cases are spreading in states like Florida, Texas and Minnesota.
Fluorescent sexing strains to facilitate the Sterile Insect Technique in the dengue and tiger mosquitoes
Agtech startup Agragene relocates from San Diego to St. Louis, bringing with it thousands of fruit flies
Researchers at Rockefeller University and HHMI Identify Biomarker That Makes People “Mosquito Magnets”
University Host Session: Endemic and emerging infectious diseases throughout the world are a persistent threat to US military, and biological and chemical weapons are a threat to all. Innovations at the intersection of engineering, biological, chemical and life sciences provide opportunities for detection of pathogens and novel methods of treatment delivery modalities. This session presents an array of research breakthroughs is dealing with pathogens: detecting them in the air (bio/chemical weapons), combating their drug resistance and eradicating insect-borne diseases with the help of gene editing, and employing plant viruses as prefabricated nanoparticles in treatments of infectious diseases and cancer. Additionally, ideas for steering chemical reactions using interacting photons and excited electrons in optical resonators will be presented.
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HighlightsGene-editing technologies have been used to mutate multiple sensory receptors, and their roles in mosquito behaviors have been established.
The genomes of mosquitoes have also been modified to encode fluorescent labeling markers and sensors of neuronal activities.
Single cell RNA-sequencing has expanded the repertoire of potential driver lines that can be engineered to investigate mosquito higher brain centers. The establishment of alternative binary expression systems will further resolve the spatiotemporal control of gene expression.
The design and implementation of synaptic sensors can further highlight the details of the neural pathways triggering specific odor-evoked mosquito behaviors.
The establishment of such novel genetic tools can set the stage for the development of strategies of behavioral manipulation to reduce bites and disease transmission.
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