Mosquitoes have an Achilles’ heel in their genes


Summer has just begun and you already can’t stand the mosquitoes that spoil your evenings? Researchers may have found a new solution to your problem. A genetic Achilles heel that would prevent disease-carrying mosquitoes from reproducing.

Grow and develop, reach sexual maturity, all insects rely on a hormone steroid called ecdysone. A hormone of the wetsuit “ who needs proteins to reach the heart of the cells. Four different proteins were identified by the researchers. But one appears to be essential. This happens with all insects. Except … in the mosquito, I just found out University of California at Riverside researchers (United States).

This Achilles heel unexpected, the entomologists now i hope to use it to fight the breeding of mosquitoes. Because mosquitoes, it must be remembered, not only disturb our summer nights, but above all they spread serious diseases such as Zikathe dengue feverthe yellow fever or even the chikungunya. And in a hot climate, more and more regions are affected.

Eliminate mosquitoes while preserving other insects

Researchers have already developed some means of control. Recently, they started publishing sterile male mosquitoes so that their mating with naturally occurring females does not produce young. But, “in the current context, the mosquito problem is only getting worse”comments Naoki Yamanaka, entomologist, in a press release. “To depend on a single tool to control populations would be recklessness. “

What the researchers hope to do here is to develop chemicals that can specifically block the three ecdysone transporters identified in mosquitoes. This is enough to prevent them from ripening and then reproducing. These chemicals, on the other hand, would have no effect on other insects likethe bees that they still have a protein – indeed, the most essential, according to the researchers’ list – to deliver the hormone to their cells.

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