From The Sacramento Bee
July 31, 2017
Zika, dengue fever and other mosquito-born illnesses have surged to public attention in recent years, with Zika afflicting thousands of people across the Americas. The Zika outbreak that began in 2015 resulted in 1,835 babies born in Brazil with abnormal brain development or problems with their central nervous systems, according to the World Health Organization. Worldwide, another 3.2 million cases of dengue fever, which causes high fever and vomiting, were reported in 2016, according to the WHO.
University of California researchers are tackling the problem by working to develop genetic defenses against mosquito-borne diseases. The team, led by UC Riverside researcher Omar Akbari, recently received a four-year grant from the federal Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency totaling $14.9 million.