Novel CRISPR-based gene drive technology engineers fruit flies to introduce desired genes into a population in a controlled manner. Continue reading The Power of Gene Drives: Altering Species Without Losing Control
The fight against malaria has been has been plateauing in the last five years. New tools are needed to eradicate malaria, such as a technology called gene drive. Continue reading Letting the Mosquitoes Stop the Spread of Malaria
Don’t want to be bitten by mosquitoes? Well, new research has found a gene that can make females, the ones that bite, into males, the ones that don’t. Continue reading Want to control a pesky mosquito population? Convert all the females to males!
While you are likely familiar with the annoying experience of being a mosquito’s ‘meal of the day’, more is going on behind the scenes of that insect bite than meets the eye. Mosquitoes, which are drawn to human scent and breath, require proteins from the blood of their victims to develop their eggs and reproduce. This sounds harmless enough, but mosquitoes also excel at picking … Continue reading New Drug May Prevent Mosquitoes From Wanting to Bite You
by Apurva Govande figures by Anna Maurer Viruses and the globe In a hidden part of our world exists the vastly diverse microscopic universe. This micro-universe exerts a great amount of influence on our lives via minuscule, unseen molecular packages like viruses. Viruses are tiny structures made of protein that can contain DNA or RNA (the more unstable cousin of DNA) to produce more viruses after infecting … Continue reading It’s Going Viral: (Re)-emerging viruses and epidemics in our increasingly global world
As mosquitoes develop resistance to insecticides used to control their populations, scientists have been developing new tools. The latest idea: infecting mosquitoes with a fungus genetically engineered to produce arachnid toxins. After infecting the mosquitoes with fungal spores, the bugs showed increase mortality within 2.5 days after exposure and fed less in the days before their death, compared to their healthy counterparts. Continue reading The war on malaria gets a new weapon: a toxic fungus
With the warm weather of summer quickly approaching, a common enemy known as the mosquito will soon make a reappearance. Mosquitoes are more than just an irritation. In many areas of the world, mosquitoes are also carriers of infectious diseases such as malaria and the Zika virus. While the mosquito is a major problem to many, scientists at Microsoft Research are attempting to exploit some … Continue reading Mosquitos: Friend or Foe? Possible use of mosquitos in modern epidemiology
The Zika virus has lately been a global focus due to its connection to deformities in newborns. A recent report by the CDC has bolstered the suspicion that Zika is sexually transmittable from men to women, which was previously only supported by a handful of reports, and viral tests of an infected man’s semen. The CDC is advising that “people returning from Zika-infected areas use condoms or abstain from sex for the duration of their partner’s pregnancy.” Continue reading Sexual Transmission of Zika Possible from Men to Women
by Nathan Schauer figures by Daniel Utter Zika virus (ZIKV) has recently transformed from a relatively unknown tropical disease to a worldwide public health emergency. This crisis is due to emerging evidence that ZIKV causes microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), two neuronal disorders with severe symptoms. By now, SITN and others have reported that ZIKV may be linked to these two disorders, but the process … Continue reading Can scientists prove that Zika virus causes microcephaly?