UCR researchers use DNA splicing to prevent Zika virus, dengue fever

From The Highlander
October 30, 2018

On Oct. 1, 2018, Distinguished Professor of Entomology Alexander Raikhel and Lin Ling, a postdoctoral scholar at UCR, published their research on the genetic foundation for chemical receptors responsible for the growth, metabolism and reproduction of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Using advanced CRISPR-Cas9 gene-editing, they successfully created mosquitoes that are smaller, have a shorter lifespan and are less likely to transmit diseases such as the Zika virus, yellow fever, West Nile virus and dengue fever, which fatally infects millions each year.

Their research is founded on a lifetime of mosquito investigation as Raikhel, UC presidential chair and National Academy of Sciences member, has personally contributed to over 68 publications regarding mosquito genetic composition and disease transmission. In an interview with the Highlander, Raikhel explained the necessity of collaboration to the scientific process and the unique role mosquitoes have as sources of disease and proliferators of pathogens.

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