The Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) has artificially removed the male reproductive ability of the Egyptian forest mosquito (Aedes aegypti), known as dengue fever, Said in a statement.
About 17% of the world’s infections are caused by Egyptian mosquitoes, school mosquitoes and Culexes. Among them, the Egyptian forest mosquito, which is distributed in the tropical and subtropical areas, is famous as a medium of dengue fever and chika virus. The problem is that as the urbanization progresses and the temperature rises, the range of activities of the Egyptian forest mosquitoes will expand and the city will be expected to increase dengue fever and chikavirus infections. In this regard, Egyptian forest mosquitoes are one of the most dangerous mosquitoes in the world.
The Australian Federal Academy of Sciences is working with James Cook University, an alphabetical affiliate, Verily Life Sciences, to research ways to combat such Egyptian forest mosquitoes. For the experiment, an Egyptian forest mosquito male was bred to 20 million, and a male was infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia pipientis. Then, from November to June of this year, the male she breed was sprayed on the experimental area in the abdomen of Queensland, Australia. As a result, the number of mosquito species in Egypt has decreased by more than 80%.
Ballbachia phypiensis is known to manipulate insect reproductive capacity in symbiosis within cells such as mitochondria. In this case, males who are infected with the uninfected females undergo cytogenetic incompatibility, resulting in early embryonic development after embryo development, which is not hatchable. New objects can not be born. Of course, the number of the population is also reduced.
In this study, the technology to rapidly differentiate ginseng from Egyptian forest mosquitoes and to screen birds for bacteriophage infection was provided by Berylli. Last year, Berylli was experimenting with dengue fever and dwarf virus infection by releasing Egyptian mosquitoes that infected Bolivia phyfiensis in California, USA last year.
Of course, this was a male mosquito that could not be bombarded in Australia, but the mosquito infected with Bolivia phyphyntisis has low dengue fever and chickens’ infectivity. For this reason, in Brazil in 2014, attempts were made to release dengue fever infection or symptoms by releasing mosquitoes that infected with Bolivia phyphothethus.
At the time, the Brazilian Oscar du Cruis Foundation (Fiocruz) planned to release 10,000 mosquitoes infected with bacteria, as previously introduced, to prevent dengue fever. This is to prevent the growth of mosquito breeding and reduce the incidence of dengue fever. In Brazil at the time, there was a gap of 20 years, but after the rediscovery of dengue fever in 1981, more than 7 million cases have been confirmed in 30 years. The number of infected people has risen to the highest level in the world. In 2009-2014, the number of outbreaks reached 3.2 million, of which 800 actually died.
So why do research on mosquitoes continue? Of course, as mentioned above, it acts as an infection agent. But it is much bigger than I thought. The animals that have killed the most people so far are mosquitoes, not sharks or lions.
One of the worst killings in the history of mosquitoes is malaria. Malaria penetrates the human body through mosquito saliva, then goes to the liver and hides in the cell to become an object of attack by the immune system. It moves through the bloodstream and goes to the red blood cell. It goes over the immune system because it moves while destroying the destroyed cell. It is like using zombie-like shells to kill them. Repeatedly entering the red blood cells to attack the next red blood cell, but the damaged cells released toxic substances, resulting in a strong immune response. Because of this, the body reacts to the immune reaction, and symptoms such as high fever, sweat, chills, headache as well as muscle aches, vomiting and diarrhea appear. If the brain is infected and becomes comatose, in the worst case it will die.
There are more than 2,500 species of mosquitoes in the world except Antarctica. It is said that the most people are killed, but the number of people who lose their lives with infections reaches about 700,000 every year. A mosquito injects a saliva that causes symptoms such as itching when piercing the skin, which helps prevent blood from hardening in the saliva. Parasites such as malaria enter the body by using mosquitoes that inject saliva as mediators. If you apply it to the mosquito, you will be allowed to enter pathogens in your body. Bill Gates also emphasized the importance of mosquito dread and countermeasures.
For this reason, attempts have been made to combat mosquitoes through technology. But in fact, this is not the kind of attempt to kill mosquitoes. There are many opinions that if you let mosquitoes out of the world, it could be quite complicated than what you might think. Mosquitoes have been living on Earth for over 100 million years. It also acts as a pathogenic agent, but it has evolved with many species. If mosquitoes, all of which are part of the ecosystem, are missing, mosquito-borne creatures can be threatened, and on the other hand, there is a good chance that problems such as the pollen-mediated plant extinction will occur. In fact, it is not easy to extinction. There are several trillions of mosquitoes on earth. A mosquito breeds 300 eggs at a time and grows so fast as to be terrifying. For this reason, extinction of mosquitoes is not possible to call the parasite taxi system.
For this reason, there have been many interesting attempts to combine technology to combat mosquitoes. In 2016, an advertising agency based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, released a free Mosquito Killer Billboard design drawing a sweaty smell and carbon dioxide to attract mosquitoes. This billboard contains lactic acid mimicking sweat from mammals and a carbon dioxide cylinder mimicking human breathing. It automatically releases and attracts female mosquitoes that suck human blood. Also, at night, using mosquitoes to attract mosquitoes all day long. The range of effect reaches a whopping 2.5-4km radius.
At the bottom of the sign, there is a cylinder that emits lactic acid. If you are mistaken for a human being, you will not be able to escape, but you will die of dehydration, not having a pesticide inside. This billboard is published as Creative Commons and can be downloaded and made free of charge without modification or modification for non-commercial purposes.
In 2015, a more interesting (?) System appeared. Photonic Fence is a system that shoots mosquitoes with a laser. When the mosquito approaches the laser net around the building, it repels. If you look at the images released at the time, you will lose the flight ability of the mosquito in a tenth of a second. The mosquitoes are lasered to lose their ability to fly.
It was developed by Intellectual Ventures Laboratory, a former engineer from Microsoft. In a nutshell, focusing on the laser, the low-energy laser is wrapped around the building like a hedge to the height of a mosquito. This means that we will block the inflow of mosquitoes at all.
This system can distinguish mosquitoes, butterflies, bees, and even mosquitoes can be distinguished. It has been said that replacing the sensor can be used on the farm as it can cope with other pests as well as mosquitoes. Of course, none of these attempts can block the risk of mosquitos themselves.
The most notable method in this regard is the use of gene scissors, such as CRISPR, transgenic technology. Genetic modification technology, which can change entire species, can be resistant to certain genetic factors. It is not killing mosquitoes, it is trying to change the nature. For example, malaria-specific gene antibodies can be put into mosquito genes to create innocuous mosquitoes. Of course, it is not enough to just make these genetically modified mosquitoes. The inheritance of an artificial antibody in the gene is passed on to the offspring, and if half of it is left alone, the mosquito with the antibody will soon become a minority.
The solution to this problem is a gene manipulation technique called a gene drive. By transferring a specific gene to the next generation, it succeeds in passing the property of detoxifying malaria to 99.5% of transgenic mosquito’s offspring. Mice that are resistant to malaria can spread quickly if they mature in a natural way. Because the genes remain permanently, malaria can not survive in mosquitoes.
Anyway, with the advent of these gene drive technologies, Bill Gates said in an interview a few years ago that genetic drive technology would be developed for three to five years to fight malaria. Of course, there is a need for in-depth discussion of the risks of manipulating genes using genomic editing, but at least technically it is.
Considering the epidemic that uses mosquitoes as mediators, mosquito repelling and prevention through technology that can save a lot of lives at a time can be helpful. As I have seen in this Australian experiment, it is also true that experiments on realization are repeated. However, there is a problem that if you apply this new technology to nature, you do not know what the result will be. If it fails, there is also the fear that genetically modified mosquitoes can reproduce and malaria can not be eradicated, which could lead to bigger problems. Nonetheless, efforts and efforts to combat mosquitoes that combine technology will continue. We can not just leave the worst murder contractor in humanity. Of course, I should remember that the second place after the mosquito that killed the most human is the human being itself.