mosquito Generally They live in people’s minds as cunning and annoyingly annoying vampires, but on summer evenings it may be the insects that make our lives bitter that can save us from many deadly diseases and epidemics.
An American biotech company called Oxitec, which deals with the genetic modification of insects, began experimentally releasing genetically modified mosquitoes on the tropical island of Florida Keys in the southern United States in April 2021, releasing hundreds of millions of individuals in nearly seven months, he writes temper nature.
The aim of the research was to reduce the number of Egyptian female mosquitoes that spread yellow fever, Zika viruses, dengue fever, and others, so that the released males would have special genes that allow the offspring of these insects to reproduce from only males.
In order to study the population, the researchers had to collect eggs and larvae for studies, the results of which, in the end, exceeded all expectations. The females, which hatched from 22,000 eggs collected and tested, all died before they were sexually mature, while the males inherited the gene, thus diluting the population. Interestingly, the researchers were easily able to identify which insect contained the specific genes that affected individuals fluoresce.
According to the study, the heritable genes can survive in infected insects for up to three months, which means that the gene can be inherited for up to three generations. However, in addition to the pluses, it must be further developed that mosquitoes carrying the modified genes only passed within a radius of four hundred meters from the hatching point, so that only a small area was able to inherit the special element. genes. The company’s goal now is to expand this reach and reach as many generations as possible.
However, the success of the research does not mean that this method can clearly control viruses transmitted by different species of mosquitoes, but rather that it is very difficult to conduct studies to this end.
They will not be able to conduct research that proves their theory that this method reduces the number of individuals who carry the disease in a given population. There are simply not enough mosquitoes in this area to spread disease, so laboratory conditions will have to be recreated elsewhere, which in turn will be very costly.
said Thomas Scott, an entomologist at the University of California.
Outbreaks appear to be exacerbated when the mosquito population in Egypt is low in a particular environment, such as the Florida Keys, where the species accounts for only four percent of the total mosquito population; Which represents about eighty percent of vampires. A few years ago, mosquitoes that spread the dengue virus caused a problem on the island.
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(Cover Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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