How can we make mosquitoes go extinct?

You probably learned in school that genes propagate following Mendel’s Laws. According to these, all sexually reproducing organisms (including you) get 50% of their genetic information from their mother and 50% from their father. However, there are some genes that do not follow Mendelian inheritance rules. They manage to cheat the system and propagate with a chance higher than 50%. They are known as selfish genetic elements.

 

These selfish genes occur naturally and they are present in all living organisms. And finally, after decades of research, we humans have figured out how to use them in our advantage. We have learned how to couple a “normal” gene to one of these selfish genetic elements, making the normal gene spread to all the population of a species. This is called a gene drive.

 

Image modified from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Gene_Drive.png

Ok cool, but how is this gene drive thing going to kill any mosquitoes at all?


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