The cruelest aspect of the mosquito -- the species responsible for the most human deaths due to their ability to spread disease -- is that, as far as biologists understand, they aren't essential to any ecosystem, which is why some scientists are creating genetically engineered mosquitoes that have the potential to sabotage and eradicate their kin.
Scientists at the Center of Vector Control for Tropical Disease in Guangzhou, China, weekly release approximately two million mosquitoes infected with a bacteria called Wolbachia. The genetically engineered mosquitoes (all of which are male) infected with Wolbachia are unable to produce fertile offspring, so when the female mosquitoes lay eggs, the eggs don't hatch. Since mosquitoes have short lifespans, this missed opportunity to procreate can significantly reduce the total mosquito population.
The Mosquitoes Created by This Lab Prevent Egg-Laying
1. Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes - Creating genetically engineered mosquitoes with a bacteria called Wolbachia to sabotage and eradicate mosquito populations.
2. Vector Control for Disease Prevention - Using genetic engineering to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases.
3. Eradicating Disease-spreading Mosquitoes - Developing innovative solutions to reduce the number of disease-carrying mosquitoes.
1. Biotechnology - Utilizing genetic engineering techniques to create genetically modified organisms for various purposes.
2. Healthcare and Disease Control - Implementing innovative strategies to control vector populations and prevent the spread of diseases.
3. Environmental Conservation - Developing methods to reduce the impact of disease-carrying mosquitoes on ecosystems and human health.