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wolbachia.wmv

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Published on Apr 22, 2010

Mosquitoes are considered the vampires of the insect world, but in reality not all mosquitoes drink blood. It is actually the female mosquitoes that need to fees on blood in order to create eggs. Thus is reasonable to assume that it is the females who transmit disease such as malaria and dengue to humans. While it is impossible to completely kill all mosquitoes that spread disease: there may be a way to curb the spread. Wolbachia is a maternally inherited bacteria found in a wide variety of arthropods. Since the mosquito, Aedes aegypti is not wolbachias natural host; it has to be genetically infected into the mosquito population. Once infected, the bacteria cause in a change in the hosts cytoplasm. As a result uninfected females can only mate with uninfected males, while infected females can mate either with infected or uninfected. The benefit of this is that infected females have been shown to produce more eggs thus spreading the bacteria. How does this affect the spread of Malaria? By genetically modifying the bacteria studies have shown that the life cycle of the adult mosquito will be cut in half. This important because the transmission of disease by mosquitoes occur later in its adult life cycle, thus shortening their life cycle we predict that we can curb the spread of the disease.

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