Scientific American 60 Second Science – Addie Machalleck

In the podcast included in this post, Christopher Intagliata discusses the possibilities of genetically engineering mosquitoes to be attracted to cows. Studies have found that mosquitoes generally take blood from what they are raised on. This meaning, if they had been raised in a lab taking only human blood, that is what they end up being attracted to. Wild mosquitoes are generally more open to their victim of choice. This caused scientists to wonder if the chosen victim or preferred victim is genetically determined. Scientists conducted an experiment with 48 arabeinsis mosquitoes from Tanzania that either fed on cows or humans. Results came back that the mosquitoes who fed on cows had a rearranged chromosome. From these results, scientists have determined that if they were able to genetically engineer the mosquitoes to be more attracted to cows, cows wouldn’t get the human malaria carried by mosquitoes and humans would be less likely to get malaria from wild mosquitoes carrying the disease.

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