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Jun 16, 2022

Genetic discovery could spell mosquitoes’ death knell

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, genetics

A UC Riverside genetic discovery could turn disease-carrying mosquitoes into insect Peter Pans, preventing them from ever maturing or multiplying.

In 2018, UCR entomologist Naoki Yamanaka found, contrary to accepted scientific wisdom, that an important steroid hormone requires to enter or exit fruit fly cells. The hormone, ecdysone, is called the “molting hormone.” Without it, flies will never mature, or reproduce.

Before his discovery, textbooks taught that ecdysone travels freely across cell membranes, slipping past them with ease. “We now know that’s not true,” Yamanaka said.

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