Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New GM mosquito sexing technique is step towards malaria control, report scientists

10.10.2005


Scientists have genetically modified male mosquitoes to express a glowing protein in their gonads, in an advance that allows them to separate the different sexes quickly.

By providing a way to quickly sex mosquitoes, the advance paves the way for pooling large numbers of sterile males which could be used to control the mosquito population.

Research published online today in Nature Biotechnology, shows how a team from Imperial College London have altered male mosquitoes to express a green fluorescent protein in their gonads. Coupled with a high speed sorting technique, scientists will be able to identify and separate the different mosquito sexes much more easily than by manually sorting.



Professor Andrea Crisanti, senior author of the paper, from Imperial College London, said: “This advance could have enormous implications for controlling mosquito populations. Now that we can identify males and females at an early stage, it will be possible to release sterile males into the population without the risk of releasing additional females. The release of sterile males has proven effective in controlling several insect pests when methods for sorting sex are available.

“Female mosquitoes are responsible for spreading malaria, and also for damage to crops, but they are only able to breed once before dying. By forcing females to breed with sterile males, we can stop them creating additional mosquitoes and at the same time, reduce the population.”

The team used the mosquito Anopheles stephensi, the mosquito responsible for much of the malaria in Asia. They engineered the mosquito larvae to express an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The modified larvae were mixed with normal larvae, and the researchers were able to identify the modified male mosquitoes by their fluorescent gonads.

When the genetically modified mosquitoes were mixed with normal male and female mosquitoes, they found the females were as likely to breed with the modified mosquitoes as they were with the normal ones.

This work builds on earlier work by the Imperial team published in 2000, demonstrating for the first time the insertion of a foreign gene into the mosquito genome. This raised the possibility that genetic manipulation could be used as a control method in mosquito populations.

Professor Crisanti adds: “Although there have been a number of control programmes to eradicate malaria, none of these have been entirely successful, and many have also had side effects, such as environmental damage through insecticides. This advance could one day make a major impact on the burden of ill health caused by malaria, and is another step towards how genetic modification can be used safely to deal with global problems.”

Tony Stephenson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.imperial.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow
25.07.2017 | Rudolf-Virchow-Zentrum für Experimentelle Biomedizin der Universität Würzburg

nachricht Fungi that evolved to eat wood offer new biomass conversion tool
25.07.2017 | University of Massachusetts at Amherst

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA mission surfs through waves in space to understand space weather

25.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strength of tectonic plates may explain shape of the Tibetan Plateau, study finds

25.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

The dense vessel network regulates formation of thrombocytes in the bone marrow

25.07.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>