Scientists Unveil Genetically Modified Insects with ‘Kill Switch’ Genes

insect_mosquito_dna_735_250-735x250Biotechnologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a ‘kill-switch’ for genetically modified insects. It is meant to assist corporations in controlling genetically modified organisms set free in the wild. But just the same as with all other GM creations, this has yet to be risk-assessed, and is already being heralded as the next ‘terrific scientific development.’ Researchers say that what once was science-fiction is now a reality. Utilizing a gene-editing technology, scientists have developed a way to delete entire strains of DNA instead of just editing them. Read Article

 

Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys

http://phys.org/news/2015-01-millions-gmo-insects-loose-florida.html

Mosquito+1-25-15Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases.  Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood.

“This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the federal Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment. Read Full Article

 

DARPA Working on Small Flying Insect Drones

www.hngn.com/articles/62529/20150121/darpa-wants-to-make-tiny-drones-that-fly-like-birds-and-insects.htm

cyborginsects_48_2The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)’s latest robotics project aims at building tiny drones that can fly through cities at 45 miles per hour. The initiative, called the Fast Lightweight Autonomy (FLA) program, will have researchers build unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) that won’t need a human pilot or a GPS to travel through unstable buildings and dangerous areas, according to CNN.

DARPA Program Manager Mark Micire says the project draws inspiration from birds of prey and insects that can fly at fast rates without hitting anything in their way. “The goal of the FLA program is to explore non-traditional perception and autonomy methods that would give small UAVs the capacity to perform in a similar way, including an ability to easily navigate tight spaces at high speed and quickly recognize if it had already been in a room before,” Micire added. Read Full Article

Related article: DARPA plans autonomous ‘flying insect’ drones with skills to match birds of prey – ibtimes