【蚊子被植入“杀手基因” 科学家借此对抗寨卡病毒】

【蚊子被植入“杀手基因” 科学家借此对抗寨卡病毒】英国生物科技公司经由基因改造,在散播寨卡病毒的埃及斑蚊体内植入“杀手基因”。杀手基因能让埃及斑蚊幼虫的生命缩短,从而让病媒蚊数量锐减,阻止寨卡病毒散播。同时,数百万只变种蚊子将由英国送到美国,在佛罗里达州释放,旨在对抗寨卡病毒。在巴西的实验显示,基因被改变的蚊子的数量锐减90%,达到“前所未见的控制程度”。

UK GM mosquitoes could beat Zika: Mutants that will help fight disease by shortening lifespan of young to be released in Florida

  • Millions of mutant mosquitoes to be taken from UK and released in Florida
  • Aedes aegypti mosquito has been genetically modified by British company
  • It will be able to pass on 'killer' gene of virus and halt spread of the disease
  • Florida identified as one of most likely places for disease to gain a foothold

Millions of mutant mosquitoes are poised to be taken from the UK and released in Florida in the fight against zika virus.

The Aedes aegypti mosquito, which spreads the disease, has been genetically modified by a British biotech company to pass on a 'killer' gene.

This shortens the life of their young, which should make the population crash and halt the spread of zika.

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Trials in Brazil have shown mosquito numbers to fall by 90 per cent, an 'unprecedented level of control'.

The World Health Organisation has declared the disease's rise a public health emergency and pregnant women have been warned not to travel to infected areas.

Already rife in South America, and a growing threat to the US, zika is blamed for thousands of babies being born with underdeveloped brains.

Florida has been identified as one of the most likely places for the disease to gain a foothold, and, with no treatments for zika available, regulators have provisionally approved the release of GM mosquitoes.

Derric Nimmo, a bioscientist with Oxitec, an Oxford University spin-out company, told the Sunday Times: 'We would expect to release about 3.3million mosquitoes over nine months – just over 200,000 a week.

Brazil Zika Virus

'We know this technology works very well.

'It's a matter of scaling up and drawing up a release strategy.'

The plans have come up against opposition, with some Key West residents saying the mutant bugs carry unknown risks to the environment and to humans, and their release could deter tourists.

But Dr Amesh Adalja, of the University of Pittsburgh, said: 'The fight against mosquito-borne diseases has been going on for over a century.

'Genetically-modified mosquitoes are a potentially path-breaking tool that will improve human life.'

原文链接:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3568769/UK-GM-mosquitoes-beat-Zika-Mutants-help-fight-disease-shortening-lifespan-young-released-Florida.html


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