New GM technique injects mosquitoes with a gene that results in mostly male offspring, eventually leading to a population crash.
Previous efforts to tackle the disease, that kills more than 1 million people each year – most of whom are African children – have included bed nets to protect people and insecticides to kill the mosquito species most responsible for the transmission of malaria (Anopheles gambiae
). The new technique by a team at Imperial College London involves injecting mosquitoes with a gene that causes the vast majority of their offspring to be male, leading to an eventual dramatic decline in population within six generations as females disappear. “You have a short-term benefit because males don’t bite humans [and transmit malaria],” Andrea Crisanti, one of the authors of the new research, which was published in the journal Nature Communications on Tuesday
, told the Guardian. “But in the long term you will eventually eradicate or substantially reduce mosquitoes. This could make a substantial contribution to eradicating malaria, combined with other tools such as insecticides.”
These new mosquitoes are now set to be used in Brazil, having been approved for use by the Brazilian government with a factory for their production now opened. [more inside]
A genome-wide association study has linked a dislike of cilantro
with a variant of a single nucleotide
in a cluster of olfactory receptor
genes. The palatability of cilantro has previously
been a divisive subject
on the blue. [more inside]
The New Biology
- Eric Schadt's quest to upend molecular biology and open source it. (via
"Nothing in biology makes sense except in light of evolution."
Despite Theodosius Dobzhansky
's succint description of natural selection at the core of biological research since Darwin's fateful trip to the Galapagos, evolutionary biologist Michael Lynch
respectfully dissents, asking "whether natural selection is a necessary or sufficient force to explain"
the complexity of multicellular organisms we see today, where mutation, recombination and genetic drift are often overlooked, but critical factors in evolutionary theory and understanding.
The evolutionary reason behind senescence^
is one of the great mysteries of biology
. Now cancer researchers may have discovered the key to why we age
You get the gay from your mother.
It turns out that there may not be "gay" genes, just "attracted to men" genes.
Scientists in Australia have discovered a new gene.
Called BRCA3, this genetic mutation causes up to 10% of the breast cancer cases which run within families. This breakthrough completes the search for the trilogy of gene mutations. The first two gene mutation markers were discovered in 1994 and 1995 respectively.