Researchers create red-eyed mutant wasps

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date: April 19, 2017

Source: University of California – Riverside

URL: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/04/170419091616.htm

Summary: Scientists created a red-eyed mutant wasps to prove that CRISPR gene-slicing can be successfully used on the parasites, which gave them a way to further study its biology and its selfish way of converting all their progeny into males.

Connections: In this article, they mentioned that these wasps can convert their off-springs to males through selfish genetic elements. In class, we talked about how bacteria can transfer their DNA or genetic information through horizontal gene transfer.

Critical Analysis: This article is a pretty interesting and easy read. It was written pretty nicely. What caught my attention is the fact that they were able to successfully manipulate genetic information so that they can induce mutation to a species. In this article, I learned that these wasps can manipulate and selfishly convert their progeny into males! How cool and selfish is that!?
Also, the process of disrupting a gene from a species to manipulate their eye color is such an amazing and challenging process. In this article, they were able to do exactly that. They used a very, very, very fine needle and a microscope to inject large amounts of embryos; however, eventually, they developed a protocol which help them achieve their goal.

Question: Can scientists use the same process or technology (CRISPR) to manipulate genetic material of other insects? What about animals or humans?

1 Comment for “Researchers create red-eyed mutant wasps”

mevelasco

says:

Oh wow! I wonder how far the CRISPR can go in terms of genetic modification. The idea of genetic modification on creatures larger than insects would be very interesting but would likely have extensive regulations and ethical concerns.

To answer your questions, they definitely have used CRISPR in other insects (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4978943/) and other animals (https://time.com/4340722/hiv-removed-using-crispr/). The use in humans appears to be beginning too but regulations behind those tests are a lot more strict (https://www.nature.com/news/crispr-gene-editing-tested-in-a-person-for-the-first-time-1.20988).

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