Scientists Turn a Female Mosquitoe into Male to Fight Against Deadly Disease

sex change of female mosquitoes

It is a widely known fact that female mosquitoes are responsible to transmit infectious disease. They bite as they need the blood to lay eggs.

Recently, researchers from the Fralin life Science Institute carefully analyzed thousands of pieces of mosquitoes’ DNA.  The chief objective of researchers was to determine DNA difference between male and female mosquitoes.

During the study, they found 165 similar and 65 different genes. Additionally, experts spotted a gene that can be used to change sex in female mosquitoes.  The gene, dubbed as Nix, is responsible to create the genetic difference between male and female mosquitoes. Afterwards, Nix from female mosquitoes was injected into female ones. Astonishingly, they noticed that the gene developed male genitals in female mosquitoes within few days.

Zhijian Jake Tu, a professor of biochemistry at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, explains the study. He informs that change of Nix can play a significant role in battle against deadly diseases. It can turn dangerous female mosquitoes into harmless male mosquitoes.

Therefore, experts concluded that converting female mosquitoes into male mosquitoes can cut the number of fatal diseases. It can dramatically reduce the population of dengue and yellow fever.

The outcome of the study is printed in Journal Science Express.

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