The Americans decided to genetically change mosquitos to not breed

To deprive posterity of malarial mosquitoes and other pests are going in the near future specialists of the Department for advanced research projects U.S. Department of defense (DARPA). Make a plan with the help of a drug affecting the duration of the race. The UN, however, concerned about the possibility of using these technologies for military purposes.


Armed with DARPA there is a so-called CRISPR technology, which allows you to edit certain sections of DNA, for example to change the sex of Anopheles mosquito females. The CRISPR system was developed on the basis of the immune system microorganisms that are used for other types with different purposes. In particular, it enables very high accuracy to find a in the cell, one nucleotide in the structure of the genome and somehow change it.

Hence arose a reasonable question: what will happen after the destruction of the malarial mosquitoes of other species that depend upon them, does not arise in the nature of the imbalance, which can lead to irreversible negative consequences? What if someone is smart enough to use these tools for gene editing in humans? According to the U.S. Department of defense, which since 2008 has allocated nearly a billion dollars for research on genetic engineering, this year to work with mosquitoes allocated another $100 million.

The comment of the head of the laboratory of genetic basis of cellular technologies of the Institute of General genetics him. N. And.Vavilov of the RAS, doctor of biological Sciences, Professor Sergei KISELEV:

— The fact that we intervene and deliberately destroy the natural look, not very good, it may lead to the disappearance of close species, which are directly related to it, for example some birds. I don’t think the harm from the destruction of the malarial mosquito will spread to all the continents. As for genetic weapons, it is theoretically based on the technology of CRISPR to create only if programmed failure of the gene will penetrate the malarial Plasmodium (single-celled organisms), and the bitten person. But, fortunately, the probability of such contamination is very small.

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