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Genetic Engineering Technique Used to Disrupt Genetic Code in Mosquitoes

by Raja Nandhini on March 23, 2013 at 6:13 AM
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 Genetic Engineering Technique Used to Disrupt Genetic Code in Mosquitoes

Researcher at Virginia Tech had successfully changed the eye color in mosquitoes using a gene disruption technique. This technique could be used in future to control the transmission of diseases like dengue fever by disruption the specific genes of the mosquitoes.

Scientists designed a pair protein of the type transcription activator-like effector nuclease (TALEN) to specifically target the DNA. Zach Adelman and his team had used the proteins to disrupt the expression of the specific gene responsible to eye color of the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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Researchers had injected the designed proteins into the germ cells during the early stages of development of mosquitoes. The proteins had modified the genetic code for eye color expression and hence the next generation of mosquitoes was born with lighter eye color.

The authors opine the once the genes responsible for virus transmission is identified, it can be genetically changed and wiped out from passing down to future generation of mosquitoes. This could help control transmission of diseases like dengue.

Source: Medindia
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