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Author Topic:   Researchers engineer malaria-proof mosquitoes
Taz
Member (Idle past 1577 days)
Posts: 5069
From: Zerus
Joined: 07-18-2006


Message 1 of 5 (568822)
07-17-2010 10:49 PM


http://www.latimes.com/...i-malaria-20100717,0,7935517.story

quote:
Malaria kills nearly 1 million people a year, but it has a weakness — to infect humans, it needs mosquitoes. In a potential step toward eradicating the disease, researchers report that they have developed a genetically engineered breed of mosquito that cannot be infected by the malaria-causing parasite.

Genetically-modified mosquitoes are far from ready for use in the field, but the researchers achieved an unprecedented 100% blockage of the Plasmodium parasite, highlighting the promise of this approach, according to their study.

The team, led by entomologist Michael Riehle at the University of Arizona, created the mosquitoes by changing a single gene, one involved in the production of insulin. To test the effect of that change, researchers injected 90 of the mosquitoes with the malaria parasite. Ten days later, at a point when normal mosquitoes would have bellies full of parasites, they didn't find a single one.


quote:
Despite this genetic engineering success, there are two main hurdles before such mosquitoes could be used to reduce malaria infections. First, the modified gene would have to spread throughout the entire mosquito population. Normally, this would occur only if the gene provided a great evolutionary advantage, but these malaria resistance genes don't have that effect.


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by AZPaul3, posted 07-19-2010 10:39 AM Taz has not yet responded
 Message 3 by Flyer75, posted 07-19-2010 7:23 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 4640
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 4.5


Message 2 of 5 (568972)
07-19-2010 10:39 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
07-17-2010 10:49 PM


Normally, this would occur only if the gene provided a great evolutionary advantage, but these malaria resistance genes don't have that effect.

Even if they did, I doubt the Plasmodiums would just sit idly by. Another round of arms race. Pesky little bugs these protists are.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Taz, posted 07-17-2010 10:49 PM Taz has not yet responded

  
Flyer75
Member (Idle past 709 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 3 of 5 (569010)
07-19-2010 7:23 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Taz
07-17-2010 10:49 PM


I may be way off base here or truly show my ignorance but here goes:

Why has evolution not done this naturally for mosquitoes through out millions of years???


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Taz, posted 07-17-2010 10:49 PM Taz has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 07-19-2010 7:31 PM Flyer75 has responded

    
jar
Member
Posts: 31473
From: Texas!!
Joined: 04-20-2004
Member Rating: 3.0


Message 4 of 5 (569013)
07-19-2010 7:31 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by Flyer75
07-19-2010 7:23 PM


Well, the Mosquito lives long enough to bite the human, suck up the food needed to get the energy to go lay eggs before there is any problem.

Malaria just ain't a problem for the skeeter.


Anyone so limited that they can only spell a word one way is severely handicapped!

This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by Flyer75, posted 07-19-2010 7:23 PM Flyer75 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by Flyer75, posted 07-19-2010 9:17 PM jar has not yet responded

  
Flyer75
Member (Idle past 709 days)
Posts: 242
From: Dayton, OH
Joined: 02-15-2010


Message 5 of 5 (569039)
07-19-2010 9:17 PM
Reply to: Message 4 by jar
07-19-2010 7:31 PM


Meh....good point Jar.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 4 by jar, posted 07-19-2010 7:31 PM jar has not yet responded

    
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