Brazilian Scientist Develops in California Technique to Reduce Dengue Mosquitoes

MarinottiA method developed by a Brazilian researcher at the University of California, Irvine, Dr Osvaldo Marinotti, may make possible within two years to reduce the dengue mosquito (Aedes aegypti) population.

The method will not use powerful insecticides that pollute the environment, but genetics. The idea is to place a toxin in the DNA of the female Aedes aegypti that will make it unable to survive.

Females with this DNA “flaw” would be released into nature where they will lay defective eggs. As the female is the only mosquito to spread disease, the males would be normal.

Osvaldo Marinotti says the technique could eliminate mosquitoes in a given location, but as they are everywhere, after a while “healthy” mosquitoes would return. This would make it necessary to inject the flawed mosquitoes into natural settings periodically.

He explains that the technique itself is cheap and that the biggest expenses would probably be in distribution and transportation of the mosquitoes.

Dr Marinotti was born in São Caetano do Sul, São Paulo, in 1959. He studied biology and biochemistry at the University of São Paulo (Ph.D. in 1986). He has been at the Department of Molecular Biology and Biochemistry of University of California, Irvine, since 2001.

From Marinotti’s webpage: The sequencing of the genomes of Anopheles gambiae and Aedes aegypti is a major achievement. The sequenced genomes present opportunities to improve vector control by revealing new strategies to control pathogen transmission and new gene targets for insecticides and insect repellents.

However, a key question to be answered by vector biologists is how to explore this sequenced information in the pursuit of these goals. The analysis of gene expression patterns and the linking of those genes to their biological functions are basic and fundamental steps toward using sequenced data for controlling disease transmission.

Our studies utilize a commercial DNA microarray platform and are focused in identifying genes expressed during the adult life of An. gambiae. A publicly available database containing the detailed analyses of specific Anopheles gambiae genes, categorized by their descriptions, functions and levels of expression has been developed – http://www.angagepuci.bio.uci.edu

Species identification of malaria vectors (anopheline mosquitoes), can be problematic because many of them belong to complexes of morphologically similar species. Often these species differ in their ecology, behavior and vectorial importance.

The application of DNA-based diagnostics has been proven useful for distinguishing between such species. We sequenced the second internal transcribed spacer (ITS2) of ribosomal DNA from several species of Anopheles captured in the Amazon Basin. The ITS2 sequence database proved to be a useful tool for species identification and, potentially, to solve taxonomic problems.

ABr/Bzz

Tags:

Ads

You May Also Like

By Law Underwear in Brazil Will Have Warning Labels and Sex Advice

After more than a decade of debate, a proposal that has been in the ...

Brazilian Chancellor Sacks Critic and Puts Friend as Head of US Embassy

The US State Department has already received the agrément from the Brazilian government with ...

Fed’s Higher Rates Cool Brazilian Stocks

Latin American stocks closed mixed to lower, as investors remained cautious as they awaited ...

Braziiiiiiiiiil

How could something as apparently benign as a team sport become the greatest unifying ...

This Brazilian’s Mission: Sell Dubai as Land of Opportunity

When his ex-wife, Yasmin, moved to Dubai with the small Jeremy, in 2005, Marcelo ...

Chinese in Brazil to See How Alcohol Fuel is Made

A Chinese mission will arrive in Brazil on Monday, April 11, to see the ...

Amazon Ablaze

IBAMA, the Brazilian Environmental Protection Agency is promoting what they call "sustainable industrial logging" ...

Brazil’s Supermodel Makes New Zealand Mag Shine

Brazilian supermodel Cinthia Moura, graces the ‘Gold Fever’ cover of Lucire out Monday, March ...

Brazil’s Leading Bank Poised to Buy Rescued Banks in the US and UK

Itaú-Unibanco, Brazil’s leading private banking institution denied London press reports it was interested in ...

Solar Energy Brings Electricity to Brazilian Indians

Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy has already set aside US$ 199,000 (470,000 reais) ...