How Do You Turn a Mosquito’s Genes On and Off?

Monday, July 11, 2016

Source: University at Buffalo

Scientists are using machine learning to identify important sequences of DNA within the mosquito genome that regulate how the insect’s cells develop and behave.

The research project, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), could have implications for disease control, potentially facilitating efforts to use genetic engineering to control mosquito populations, or to create mosquitoes that have reduced ability to transmit maladies, such as malaria, to humans.

“Our work will break new ground in the field of mosquito genomics and genetics,” says Marc Halfon, PhD, professor of biochemistry in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at the University at Buffalo. “Mosquitoes are responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths each year. Although we know the sequence of the mosquito genome, we have little functional information about what much of that genome sequence does."

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