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New technology improves CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in mosquitoes, other species

A technology designed to improve CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in mosquitoes and other arthropods succeeds with a high degree of efficiency, while eliminating the need for difficult microinjection of genetic material, according to researchers. CRISPR -- Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats -- is a relatively new and revolutionary way to modify an organism's genome by precisely delivering a DNA-cutting enzyme, Cas9, to a targeted region of DNA. The resulting mutation can delete or replace specific DNA pieces, thereby promoting or disabling certain traits. These results could pave the way for scientists examining a wide range of arthropods -- and even some vertebrates -- to more easily manipulate gene expression for fundamental research and practical applications such as control of vector-borne diseases like Zika virus and malaria, elimination of agricultural insect pests and potentially gene therapy for human and animal health.

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