Scientists use gene-driven mosquitoes to produce only male offspring

I believe that many people hate mosquitoes, but you may not know that it is still the “first killer” of human beings. There are thousands of species of mosquitoes, spread in more than 100 countries around the world, in all regions except Antarctica. Mosquitoes kill an average of 725,000 people a year, of which about 660,000 die from malaria.

Scientists use gene-driven mosquitoes to produce only male offspring

On May 15th scientists at Imperial College London discovered a new anti-mosquito method that genetically drives to change the sex of Gambia’s mosquito-based mosquitoes, making their offspring predominantly male, reducing the mosquito population and its ability to spread the disease,media reported.

Mosquitoes are known to carry malaria parasites and transmit malaria, in addition to transmitting encephalitis B, dengue fever, yellow fever, West Nile virus and other serious threats to human sons. It is one of the main vectors of infectious diseasetransmission.

The researchers say vector control by manipulating gender ratios is a long-term idea, especially when it comes to controlling mosquito populations. Because only females bite and spread the disease.

The principle of changing the sex ratio of the offspring of the malaria mosquito is that the X chromosome is destroyed by DNA cutting enzymes during sperm production, resulting in a male-dominated population. Although similar methods existed before, the initial frequency of transmission was very low, and the new study combined gene-driven techniques to enable the mutation to be nearly 100 percent genetic, rather than a 50 percent chance of mating normally.

Combining gender torsion factors with gene-driven also increases the robustness of the system. This genetic modification does not harm male mosquitoes and has no “health costs”, so mosquitoes are more likely to pass these genes through mating, meaning that the gene can be transmitted effectively without being stopped by drug resistance.

At present, this work has been tested in the laboratory, and achieved good results. Due to the impact of the outbreak, no actual tests have been carried out in the field. However, more tests are needed to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of the technology before it can be applied to the real world.