fbpx

CRISPR to control growth of mosquitoes

  • IASbaba
  • September 15, 2021
  • 0
UPSC Articles
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

CRISPR to control growth of mosquitoes

Part of: Prelims and GS III – Sci and tech

Context Researchers from California have developed a CRISPR-based system to safely restrain mosquito vectors via sterilization. 

  • It is called the new precision-guided sterile insect technique, or pgSIT.

Mechanism

  • pgSIT uses a CRISPR-based approach to engineer deployable mosquitoes that can suppress populations.
  • It alters genes linked to male fertility — creating sterile offspring — and female flight in Aedes aegypti.
    • The mosquito species is responsible for spreading wide-ranging diseases including dengue fever, chikungunya, and Zika.
  • pgSIT uses CRISPR to sterilize male mosquitoes and render female mosquitoes, which spread disease, as flightless.

Why is this significant?

  • pgSIT eggs can be shipped to a location threatened by mosquito-borne disease 
  • Once the pgSIT eggs are released in the wild, sterile pgSIT males will emerge and eventually mate with females, driving down the wild population as needed.

What is CRISPR?

  • CRISPR technology is basically a gene-editing technology that can be used for the purpose of altering genetic expression or changing the genome of an organism. 
  • It can be used for targeting specific genetic code or editing the DNA at particular locations.
  • Potential applications: Correcting genetic defects, treating and preventing the spread of diseases and improving crops. 

For a dedicated peer group, Motivation & Quick updates, Join our official telegram channel – https://t.me/IASbabaOfficialAccount

For, Rapid Revision (RaRe) Series (Prelims+Mains UPSC 2021) – A Free Initiative – Click Here

Search now.....