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首页 考试资讯考研英语 2024考研英语同源外刊1月:转基因蚊子


时间:2024-01-17 14:26:00 编辑:


Researchers have completed the first open-air study of genetically engineered mosquitoes in the United States. The results, according to the biotechnology firm running the experiment, are positive. But larger tests are still needed to determine whether the insects can achieve the ultimate goal of suppressing a wild population of potentially virus-carrying mosquitoes.

The experiment has been underway since April 2021 in the Florida Keys, a chain of tropical islands near the southern tip of Florida. Oxitec, which developed the insects, released nearly five million engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes over the course of seven months, and has now almost completed monitoring the release sites.
自 2021 年 4 月以来,该实验一直在佛罗里达群岛南端附近的一连串热带岛屿佛罗里达群岛进行。开发这些昆虫的 Oxitec 在 7 个月的时间里释放了近 500 万只经过改造的埃及伊蚊,现在几乎完成了对释放地点的监测。

Based in Abingdon, UK, the firm reported the first results from the experiment during a webinar on 6 April, although it has not yet published the data.
该公司总部位于英国阿宾登,在 4 月 6 日的网络研讨会上报告了该实验的第一批结果,但尚未公布数据。

Following the plan

Wild A. aegypti mosquitoes can carry viruses such as chikungunya, dengue, Zika and yellow fever, so scientists have sought ways to reduce their populations. Oxitec’s engineered males carry a gene that is lethal to female offspring. If all goes to plan, when released into the environment, the engineered males should mate with wild females, and their female offspring will die before they can reproduce. Male offspring will carry the gene and pass it on to half of their progeny. As each generation mates, more females die, and the A. aegypti population should dwindle.
野生埃及伊蚊可以携带基孔肯雅热、登革热、寨卡病毒和黄热病等病毒,因此科学家们一直在寻找减少蚊子数量的方法。Oxitec 的工程雄性携带对雌性后代致命的基因。如果一切按计划进行,当被释放到环境中时,经过改造的雄性应该与野生雌性交配,它们的雌性后代将在繁殖前死亡。雄性后代将携带该基因并将其传递给其后代的一半。随着每一代交配,更多的雌性死亡,而埃及伊蚊的数量应该会减少。

To make sure the mosquitoes follow this scheme, researchers placed boxes of Oxitec mosquito eggs on private properties in the Keys and surrounded them with traps, covering a radius of more than 400 metres. Some traps served as egg-laying sites, and others caught adult mosquitoes.
为了确保蚊子遵循这一计划,研究人员在 Keys地区 的私人财产上放置了一箱 Oxitec 蚊子卵,并用陷阱包围它们,覆盖半径超过 400 米。一些陷阱用作产卵场所,而其他陷阱则捕捉成年蚊子。

The researchers found that the males that hatched from the eggs typically travelled within a one-hectare area around the release box — the same range over which wild A. aegypti fly. The engineered mosquitoes, which don’t bite, mated with the wild population, and wild females laid eggs in Oxitec traps, as well as in sites such as flower pots, rubbish-bin lids and soft-drink cans.
研究人员发现,从卵中孵化出来的雄性通常在释放箱周围一公顷的区域内飞行——与野生埃及伊蚊飞行的范围相同。不咬人的工程蚊子与野生种群交配,野生雌性在 Oxitec 陷阱以及花盆、垃圾桶盖和软饮料罐等场所产卵。

Oxitec researchers collected more than 22,000 eggs from the traps and brought them back to their laboratory to hatch under observation. The firm reported that all females that inherited the lethal gene died before reaching adulthood.(Researchers can determine this because mosquitoes carrying the lethal gene fluoresce under certain light.)
Oxitec 研究人员从陷阱中收集了 22,000 多个卵,并将它们带回实验室进行观察孵化。该公司报告说,所有遗传了致命基因的雌性在成年之前就死了。(研究人员可以确定这一点,因为携带致命基因的蚊子在特定光线下会发出荧光。)

Furthermore, the team found that the lethal gene persisted in the wild population for two to three months, or about three generations of mosquito offspring, and then disappeared. No mosquitoes carrying the lethal gene were found beyond 400 metres of the release points, even after several generations. Oxitec monitors the sites for ten weeks after the last lethal gene-carrying mosquito is found.
此外,研究小组发现,这种致死基因在野生种群中持续存在两到三个月,或大约三代蚊子后代,然后就消失了。即使在几代之后,在释放点 400 米以外也没有发现携带致命基因的蚊子。在发现最后一只致命的携带基因的蚊子后,Oxitec 对这些地点进行了十周的监测。

“I like the way they’re going about it,” says Thomas Scott, an entomologist at the University of California, Davis. “They’re doing it in a systematic, thoughtful way. So I’m encouraged, but they have a lot of work ahead of them,” he says.

The pilot study was not intended to determine how well the method suppresses the wild population. Oxitec plans to gather that data in an extension of the Florida Keys study. It first needs approval from state regulators, but hopes to begin soon. The company plans to release mosquitoes at a second study site in Visalia, California, where it is building a research and development facility.
试点研究的目的不是确定该方法对野生种群的压缩程度。Oxitec 计划在佛罗里达群岛的研究扩展中收集这些数据。它首先需要得到州监管机构的批准,但希望很快开始。该公司计划在加利福尼亚州维萨利亚的第二个研究地点释放蚊子,并在那里建立一个研发设施。







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