So, naturally, the best way to fight these life-threatening diseases is at their source. Historically, malaria and dengue control strategies have incorporated insect population control using insecticides, but in recent years, researchers have turned to genetic engineering. After many years of hopeful development, such genetically modified mosquitoes might finally be close to proving their worth. Field tests of genetically-sterilized mosquitoes, targeted at dengue-carrying species, are demonstrating encouraging suppression of mosquito populations, while a variety of genetically manipulated malaria- or dengue-resistant mosquitoes are nearing their chance at tackling mosquito-borne infections outside the laboratory. A similar strategy, known as the sterile insect technique SIT , has been used to successfully shrink populations of tsetse flies, which carry the parasite that causes sleeping sickness. In SIT, male insects are sterilized through irradiation, then released into the wild, where they breed with wild females, but produce no offspring, thereby cutting the size of the next generation. By regularly releasing enough sterile males, officials can drastically reduce the number of disease-carrying insects. He modified Aedes aegytpi , the primary carriers of dengue fever, to express a lethal toxin as larvae—but only when not exposed to the antibiotic tetracycline. A diet of tetracycline-rich food allows GM insects to develop normally in the lab, then released into the wild where there is no tetracycline, and progeny inheriting the toxin gene will be killed before adulthood. The same year, Alphey formed the company Oxitec to implement his modified mosquitoes in the field.
Sabine River surrenders its heroes
The successful candidate will lead experimental work on a new BBSRC-funded project to explore the possibility of developing stress-tolerant honey bees, in particular bees less affected by exposure to viral pathogens. The post-holder will report to the senior postdoc on the grant and to Luke Alphey, the Head of Arthropod Genetics and Principal Investigator on the grant. Grant funding is for 36 months. This job description is only an outline of the tasks, responsibilities and outcomes required of the role.
The job description and personal specification may be reviewed on an ongoing basis in accordance with the changing needs of The Pirbright Institute.
Request PDF | Alphey, L. Re-engineering the sterile insect technique. Insect Biochem Mol. Biol | The mass release of sterile insects (the Sterile.
James Smith Sr. Until a camping trip this weekend, the pair whom locals and authorities are calling heroes had never even met. However, both died Saturday after jumping into the Sabine River at U. Oh, I sure hate that. The two-day search for Kimmey and Smith ended Monday morning. Authorities from Newton, Orange and Jasper County sheriff’s offices, Beauregard and Calcasieu parish sheriff offices, state game wardens and the Jasper County Emergency Corps divers were all involved in the weekend.
Family and friends who had gathered at the river’s edge as searchers scoured the river sobbed and hugged as the bodies were brought out. The pink raft family members identified as belonging to the young girls washed up downstream on the other side of the river. As a fire smoldered near two tents where family members had kept a vigil throughout the weekend, many sat in fold-up chairs near the river or leaned on pickup trucks waiting for news of their loved ones.
Kimmey was recovered first about a. Smith was found about a. Leslie Kimmey , Alphey’s sister-in-law, said she and her husband, Don, who is Alphey’s brother, and her two children Jessica, 13, and Eric, 14, her cousin, Melissa McDonald , and Smith had all arrived at the site Thursday before dinnertime.
Alphey Loves Letters is a children’s book written for year olds and for all children at heart! In this adventure we spend a day with Alphey, a young boy who loves to read every word he sees, from the labels on his clothing to the writing on his toothpaste tube. Read more Read less. Shop now.
Birth, date/date/ city Devon England. Marriage, dd/mm/year Ontario Canada. Residence, year city Kenora Ontario Canada.
Aedes mosquitoes include important vector species such as Aedes aegypti , the major vector of dengue. Genetic control methods are being developed for several of these species, stimulated by an urgent need owing to the poor effectiveness of current methods combined with an increase in chemical pesticide resistance. In this review we discuss the various genetic strategies that have been proposed, their present status, and future prospects.
We focus particularly on those methods that are already being tested in the field, including RIDL and Wolbachia -based approaches. Aedes mosquitoes transmit a range of pathogens that cause substantial human morbidity, mortality, and suffering. Dengue, the most important mosquito-borne viral disease with 50— million infections per year worldwide, 1 , 2 is transmitted primarily by Ae. Several other Aedes species are competent vectors for dengue in the laboratory and Ae.
A vaccine has long been available for yellow fever, but remains some way off for dengue, following disappointing results from a recent large trial of the leading candidate. However, current mosquito control methods have limited effectiveness against some key species which breed in small dispersed bodies of water. For Ae. Both private properties and public spaces will have large numbers of such potential breeding sites. Each one may be treated easily by tipping out the water or treating with a chemical or biological toxin, however finding and treating a high enough proportion for effective control is extremely difficult and impractical in most settings.
Adulticides are also of limited effectiveness, compounded by increased resistance and the relative ineffectiveness of bednets against day-biting mosquitoes.
Dr Nina Alphey
A new strain of mosquito has been engineered to self-destruct within a generation. Key West, Florida is considering unleashing these bugs to keep dengue fever at bay. Michael S. Doyle, Executive Director of the Key West Mosquito Control District tells host Bruce Gellerman that the genetically modified mosquitoes could save money and serious discomfort.
Date listed: 13/6/ ALPHEY. — Bruce. – Loving and loved brother of Noreen, Shirley (dec), Allan (dec). Great brother-in-law to Ern, Lorrie.
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we’ll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer – no Kindle device required. The technique of DNA Sequencing lies at the heart of modern molecular biology. Since current methods were first introduced, sequence databases have grown exponentially, and are now an indispensable research tool. This up-to-date, practical guide is unique in covering all aspects of the methodology of DNA sequencing, as well as sequence analysis.
It describes the basic methods both manual and automated and the more advanced techniques for example, those based on PCR before moving on to key applications. The final section focuses on the analysis of sequence data; it details the software available, and explains how the Internet can be used for accessing software and major databases. By explaining the options available and their merits, DNA Sequencing allows newcomers to the field to decide which method is the most suitable for their application.
Dilution of genetic traits
The present invention relates to breeding strategies for reducing the frequency of, or eliminating, genetic traits, such as pesticide resistance, in a target population. Ways of controlling pests, and especially those which attack important harvests or which are capable of spreading disease, are continually being sought. With each new strategy that is found, for eliminating or neutralising a pest, comes the concern that the pest in question will develop resistance, or become immune, to the strategy.
Professor Luke Alphey, Head of Arthropod Genetics Group, The Pirbright to date; approximately £1 million of this relates to the GM insects research of the type.
Invasive species remain one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. Their control would be enhanced through the development of more effective and sustainable pest management strategies. Recently, a novel form of genetic pest management GPM has been developed in which the mating behaviour of insect pests is exploited to introduce genetically engineered DNA sequences into wild conspecific populations. Although currently being developed for use against economically important insect pests, these technologies would be highly appropriate for application against invasive species that threaten biodiversity.
Here we review the current state of this rapidly progressing field and, using an established set of eradication criteria, discuss the characteristics which make GPM technologies suitable for application against invasive pests. Current methods for their control are in many cases inadequate to prevent continuing biodiversity loss Genovesi ; Thresher ; Bax and Thresher With the rate of invasions both unprecedented and increasing Pimentel et al. A form of pest control that is potentially highly suitable for combatting invasive species is known as genetic pest management GPM.
In GPM a pest is colonized, modified to carry one or more heritable control traits and then released into a target population where it will pass these modifications to its offspring. A GPM strategy that has been in use for decades in agriculture is the sterile insect technique SIT Klassen and Curtis which uses radiation to induce sterility in insect pests prior to release.
Since wild females mating a released sterile male have few or no viable offspring, mass-release of radiation-sterilised pests reduces the reproductive potential of the target population and over time can suppress or even eradicate it. Recently, a range of novel, transgene-based, GPM strategies have been developed Burt ; Alphey that have the potential to widen the scope of GPM to a variety of intractable invasive pests Gould
Rexon Bruce Alphey
Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free account to start saving and receiving special member only perks. Schaad, N. Postnikova, G.
Jasmin Kirchner, Sascha Gross, Daimark Bennett and Luke Alphey eukaryotes examined to date and is involved in the regulation of many cellular functions.
Data from: Engineered action at a distance: blood-meal-inducible paralysis in Aedes aegypti. Alphey, Luke et al. Data from: Engineered action at a distance: blood-meal-inducible paralysis in Aedes aegypti Alphey, Luke. Publication date: August 5, Background: Population suppression through mass-release of Aedes aegypti males carrying dominant-lethal transgenes has been demonstrated in the field. Where population dynamics show negative density-dependence, suppression can be enhanced if lethality occurs after the density-dependent i.
This limits the flexibility of these technologies as regulatory regions with useful spatial, temporal or sex-specific expression patterns may only be employed if the cells they direct expression in are simultaneously sensitive to existing effectors, and also precludes the targeting of extracellular regions such as cell-surface receptors. Initial attempts using pro-apoptotic effectors gave no evident phenotype, potentially due to the lower sensitivity of terminally-differentiated fat-body cells to programmed-death signals.
Subsequently, we dissociated the temporal and spatial expression of this system by engineering a novel synthetic effector Scorpion neurotoxin — TetO-gp AaHIT designed to be secreted out of the tissue in which it was expressed fat-body and then affect cells elsewhere neuro-muscular junctions. This resulted in a striking, temporary-paralysis phenotype after blood-feeding. The potential to dissociate temporal and spatial expression patterns of useful endogenous regulatory elements will extend to a variety of other pest insects and effectors.
Knockdown dataset Observational data of two knockdown events as well as oviposition events following these knockdowns.
The Voyage of Our Turtles: Alphey
Genetic Biocontrol for Invasive Species. John L. Teem, J.
Population suppression through mass-release of Aedes aegypti males carrying dominant-lethal transgenes has been demonstrated in the field. Where population dynamics show negative density-dependence, suppression can be enhanced if lethality occurs after the density-dependent i. This limits the flexibility of these technologies as regulatory regions with useful spatial, temporal or sex-specific expression patterns may only be employed if the cells they direct expression in are simultaneously sensitive to existing effectors, and also precludes the targeting of extracellular regions such as cell-surface receptors.
We sought to engineer female-specific, late-acting lethality through employing the Ae. Initial attempts using pro-apoptotic effectors gave no evident phenotype, potentially due to the lower sensitivity of terminally-differentiated fat-body cells to programmed-death signals. Subsequently, we dissociated the temporal and spatial expression of this system by engineering a novel synthetic effector Scorpion neurotoxin—TetO-gp AaHIT designed to be secreted out of the tissue in which it was expressed fat-body and then affect cells elsewhere neuro-muscular junctions.
This resulted in a striking, temporary-paralysis phenotype after blood-feeding. The potential to dissociate temporal and spatial expression patterns of useful endogenous regulatory elements will extend to a variety of other pest insects and effectors. A recent addition to the toolbox for controlling populations of the disease vector Aedes aegypti is the mass-release of males engineered with dominant, lethal transgenes.
The lethal effect of these transgenes is activated in the progeny of these released engineered males and wild females they mate with in the field and with continuous release of males can cause population collapse. To achieve this we utilised the endogenous cell secretory pathway to engineer a novel control phenotype—blood-meal inducible i. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
SS was a member of staff at Oxitec Ltd.
Will GM Insects Help Stop Disease?
Gene drives are synthetic selfish genetic elements capable of spreading through wild populations despite conferring no fitness benefit on individuals that carry them. Although their potential for controlling pest insect populations has long been recognized, they have not proven easy to implement. Gene drives are only one of several promising strategies for genetically modifying mosquitoes to decrease transmission of malaria parasites to humans.
All of these approaches aim to reduce either the fitness of mosquitoes or their competence as malaria vectors. Transgenes conferring either of these traits could be spread into target mosquito populations without the use of gene drives by releasing large numbers of modified mosquitoes preferably males as they don’t bite humans to mate with the wild population.
Other languages: English; Inventor: Thomas Alphey: Andrew Birch: Linda Fellows: Walter Robertson; Current Assignee. The listed assignees may be inaccurate.
However, regulatory and social factors, while crucial to the adoption of any new technology, are not the main focus of this review. OXA males were shown to have similar longevity and maximum dispersal to an unmodified comparator Lacroix et al. To our knowledge, each of these trials has been successful in accomplishing its experimental objectives, and in no case have any negative consequences to human health or the environment been identified.
One may anticipate that each of the programmes described above will develop further over the coming years, though there will doubtless be numerous technical, legal, and social challenges. In addition, one may anticipate that some of the many approaches at earlier stages of development will progress towards field trials and use.
In this regard one may particularly look to synthetic biology approaches to engineered refractoriness and gene drive systems—an approach that has been long heralded and where the daunting technical obstacles are slowly being overcome. Current dengue control methods rely on population suppression. Genetics-based population suppression has the same aim, so can reasonably be evaluated on the same terms, looking for mosquito suppression, i.
But what about refractory-insect methods, or indeed novel non-genetic methods such as spatial repellents? One would need to show an ability to reduce dengue—an epidemiological endpoint. However, this is extremely difficult for an area-wide intervention, as dengue is highly variable in time and space.
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The same year, Alphey formed the company Oxitec to implement his modified mosquitoes in the field. To date, Oxitec has collaborated with.
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