argylesock says… Here’s an example of how genetic modification (genetic engineering) can be good. I hope these antibiotic-dependent blowflies and fruit flies become available, a few years from now, to release in pest control programmes.
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique to control populations of the Australian sheep blowfly – a major livestock pest in Australia and New Zealand – by making female flies dependent on a common antibiotic to survive.
Dr Max Scott, professor of entomology at NC State, and his research team genetically modified lines of female Australian sheep blowflies (Lucilia cuprina) so they required doses of tetracycline in order to live.
Female blowflies that did not receive the antibiotic died in the late larval or pupal stages, before reaching adulthood. Several genetically modified lines lacking tetracycline showed 100 percent female deaths.
Scott says the gene construct responsible for lethality in antibiotic-free diets is female-specific.
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