Controlling Mosquitos Without Pesticides

Source:  Controlling Mosquitos Without Pesticides    Tag:  mosquito carried diseases
Gentics posted an article of study on controlling mosquito carried diseases.  According to the article there are two ways to control mosquito carried diseases. These two ways are to reduce mosquito populations or replacing populations with disease refractory varieties.  The study suggests, Semele.  Semele consists of  a toxin expressed in transgenic males that either kills or makes wild type female mates infertile and transgenic females have an antidote that protects them from the effects of the toxin.  If all males are released it would result in population suppression because wild type females that mate with transgenic males cannot produce offspring.  A release that includes transgenic females results in gene drive since females carrying the allele are favored at high population frequencies.  Semele is a favorable because if transgenic insects are released accidentally they are unlikely to affect anything because high transgenic populations are needed to affect the wild population, but  intentional release of transgenic mosquitos can be confined to certain areas and then through sustained release of wild type mosquitos transgenic mosquitos can be removed from populations.  This sounds like a great way to reduce insect populations without the use of pesticides.  It also doesn't seem like it would have any harmful results as long as the mosquito numbers are kept at sustainable levels. This discovery will be very useful to humans and the environment because it reduces the need to use harmful chemicals to control the mosquitos and hopefully this discovery can be used to learn about better ways to control of insects through genetics rather then pesticides.

The Article- http://www.genetics.org/content/187/2/535.abstract

Another Article- http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-02/gsoa-nmr021011.php

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