A way to turn a female mosquito that breathes human blood into a harmless male mosquito is discovered
Mosquitoes are a nuisance that mediates various infectious diseases in a wide area of the world, for example, about 200,000 people are infected with yellow fever due to mosquitoes in one year, about 30,000 of them died. Various methods have been considered to solve the spread of infectious diseases caused by mosquitoes, but in the latest research a method of "converting female mosquitoes into male" was discovered.
A male-determining factor in the mosquito Aedes aegypti
Scientists found a way to turn deadly female mosquitoes into harmless males | The Verge
Mosquitoes sucking human blood are females who decided to lay eggs, and most of the countermeasures against infectious diseases that have been done so far are "Rearing large amounts of mosquitoes, selecting infertile male mosquitoes that have no reproductive ability from among them, I will release it to the contagious area of the disease and increase the ratio of male mosquitoes. "It was something that was not expected to be very effective in spite of the time and cost.
In order to make this approach more efficient, researchers sought ways to turn female mosquitoes into male mosquitoes. In the studyAedes aedesYellow fever and dengue,Chikungunya feverBy utilizing various calculations using mosquitoes known to mediate infectious diseases such as infectious diseases such as infectious diseases, from the unknown part of the mosquito gene sequence, a factor gene showing that it is a male "NixI succeeded in finding out.
According to Brantley Hall, a computational biologist involved in the study, "When injecting the Nix gene into the reproductive organs of female mosquitoes, more than two thirds of individuals developed male reproductive organs." Also, when extracting the Nix gene from male mosquitoes, it seems that genitalia has changed to female one.
According to Professor Zhijian Jake Tu, a biologist led by this research, the existence of a gene that controls sex of mosquitoes was known about 70 years ago, but no one is applicable because the number of whole genes is too large He seems to have been unable to find a gene. Co-researcher Associate Professor Zach Adelman said, "The research to examine the genes of mosquitoes seemed as if they solved a puzzle that did not end," he says.
In the previous method of sorting out male mosquitoes by the method of "sorting infertile males out of breeding mosquitoes and releasing them to infected areas", all female mosquitoes were discarded, but infertile male mosquitoes By breeding only, it is expected that extra cost for breeding and disposal will be reduced. However, further research is necessary before practical use, Associate Professor Adelman said, "Now we can only change mosquito reproductive organs, but we are aiming to make the entire mosquito body male at the cell level Comment. If this method is put into practical use, it seems to be a powerful weapon to combat mosquito-borne infectious diseases.