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Feb 5, 2020

Scientists Release Genetically Engineered Moths for First Time

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, food, genetics, sustainability

The diamondback moth is a huge pest. It eats a variety of crops, but is largely resistant to insecticides, resulting in upwards of $5 billion in losses every year.

That could soon change, though, as an international team of researchers has created a strain of genetically engineered diamondback moths that could suppress the pest population in a sustainable way — and they just released them into the wild for the first time.

For the study, published Wednesday in the journal Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, the researchers engineered the moths so that when the males of the strain mated with wild females, the female offspring would die during the caterpillar life stage.

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