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 Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth
09.12.2016 | Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

nachricht Plant-based substance boosts eyelash growth
09.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Polymerforschung IAP

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>