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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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Combating Mosquito-Borne Diseases with CRISPRAs alternatives to insecticides, Omar Akbari uses sophisticated genetic engineering methods to solve the world’s mosquito problems. By Niki Spahich, PhD
WHY DO WE NEED TO DO FIELD RELEASES OF GENE DRIVE TECHNOLOGIES AS PART OF THE R&D PROCESS? https://genedrivenetwork.org/blog/256-why-do-we-need-to-do-field-releases-of-gene-drive-technologies-as-part-of-the-r-d-process
05 OCTOBER 2022By Dr Robyn Raban, Research Data Analyst, The Akbari Lab, University of California San Diego
As part of its efforts to contribute to an informed debate on gene drive, the Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research conducted a series of video interviews with experts and researchers working on gene drive research. In one of these videos - “Why do we need to do field releases of gene drive technologies as part of the R&D process?” - Dr Mamadou Coulibaly of Target Malaria and I tackle the importance of field trials in gene drive research.
Gene drive technologies have the potential to support the prevention of diseases such as malaria and dengue. For many years, gene drive technologies for vector control have been studied in the laboratory. However, these laboratory studies are not fully reflective of the conditions these technologies might eventually encounter in the field: field conditions are complex, highly variable and more stressful to gene drive organisms than those encountered in the laboratory.
There are many variables in the field that can impact the success of a gene drive, such as for example:
“Why do we need to do field releases of gene drive technologies as part of the R&D process?” with Dr Robyn Raban, The Akbari Lab, and Dr Mamadou Coulibaly, Target Malaria. To learn more, you can watch the video here.
These factors also vary over space (e.g., local versus landscape level) and time (e.g., seasonally). Therefore, while laboratory studies provide important safety and efficacy data needed to determine whether gene drive technologies could benefit disease control programs, they fall short of providing the necessary data to determine if these technologies are suitable for large scale use. The transition from the laboratory to the field is an essential step in the research and development process.
If a gene drive technology were to be approved for field evaluation, early field trials would be conducted on a small scale to ensure performance and safety, before scaling to larger and more complex environments. Following a stepwise approach will help provide more reliable performance and safety data for stakeholders to assess whether a gene drive technology is effective and safe. It will also allow to collect data at each step of the research pathway, which in turn will help in building better predictive models of gene drive behavior on a large scale and ensure that these potentially life-saving technologies are developed in a responsible manner.
You Have No Idea How Good Mosquitoes Are at Smelling Us The insects have infinite backup plans for hunting us down.By Katherine J. Wu
NPR -AIrTalk - The State Of Mosquitos In Southern California Right Now And The Dark Road We May Be Buzzing Down
The State Of Mosquitos In Southern California Right Now And The Dark Road We May Be Buzzing Down
If pesky mosquitos are buzzing around your house and yards, you’re not alone. There are two populations you need to worry about in the region. That’s Culex mosquitoes, which is native to the region and Aedes mosquitoes, which are not. The Culex can carry the deadly West Nile Virus. The Aedes can carry a variety of dangerous diseases like dengue, chikungunya, Zika, and yellow fever. They’re believed to have made their way in 2001 and are often known as ankle biters. These invasive mosquitoes tend to increase their prevalence (and annoyance) right around this time in the summer. Experts say to be proactive in trying to prevent breeding grounds and bites, but there is concern about how mosquito populations are evolving and the potential for future epidemics or even pandemics spread by the dangerous pests. Anais Medina Diaz, public information officer at the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District, and Omar Akbari, a professor of cell and developmental biology at UC San Diego, join guest host Sharon McNary to discuss. If you have questions, call 866-893-5722 or email email@example.com.
Injecting Cockroaches with CRISPR Gene Edits Their OffspringA new method has allowed researchers to conduct the first gene knock-out and knock-in edits on cockroaches and may extend to many other insects.
UCSD Developing SARS-CoV-2 At-Home, Molecular Test Leveraging CRISPR, Isothermal AmplificationDec 08, 2021 | Leo O'Connor