Engineering reciprocal chromosomal translocations to control the fate of populations

Published on September 26, 2018   28 min

Other Talks in the Series: Gene-drives and Active Genetics

0:00
My name is Omar Akbari, and I'm an assistant professor at the University of California, San Diego. Today, I'm going to talk to you about Engineering Reciprocal Chromosomal Translocations to Control the Fate of Populations.
0:17
So, when we think about mosquitoes, we think about disease. In fact, when you look at the number of people killed by animals, mosquitoes top the chart. They are considered the world's deadliest animal and there are roughly a million people dying every single year of a mosquito-borne vectored pathogen. The next closest animal on the scale is humans and that has to do with wars.
0:47
So, why are mosquitoes so deadly? Well, they transmit a number of different pathogens that affect humans including malaria. For example, with malaria, we see around 207 million cases per year and we do the math, that's around a thousand people dying every single day. Unfortunately, those are mostly children under the age of five. Mosquitoes also transmit Dengue fever, with dengue we have about 390 million cases per year and that's roughly around 50,000 deaths per year. They also transmit West Nile Virus and there's about 30,000 cases of West Nile per year. Yellow fever, we have around 207,000 cases per year. In total, it's estimated that 3.2 billion people are at risk of a mosquito-borne vectored pathogen, which is roughly half the world's population. On the bottom here are pictures of a few of the very deadly mosquito species, including Aedes aegypti, an Aedes albopictus which are the top Dengue vectors, and in the middle there is Anopheles Gambiae which is the main malaria vector in Africa.
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Engineering reciprocal chromosomal translocations to control the fate of populations

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