In DepthBiotechnology

Biologists devise invasion plan for mutations

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Science  20 Mar 2015:
Vol. 347, Issue 6228, pp. 1300
DOI: 10.1126/science.347.6228.1300

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Summary

In a study published online this week, researchers describe a technique for creating mutations that invade the genome and transmit themselves across to the next generation with near 100% success, defying the classic laws of Mendelian genetics. It is the latest—and some say, most impressive—example of gene drive: biasing inheritance to spread a gene rapidly through a population, or even an entire species. At this level of efficiency, a single mosquito equipped with a parasite-blocking (it blocks transmission, doesn't kill the parasites) gene could in theory spread malaria resistance through an entire breeding population in a single season. A collaboration is under way, based on this study, to do just that.