Article in the May 29, 2021 issue of the Economist covers the work in PNAS on "Suppression of female fertility in Aedes aegypti with a CRISPR-targeted male-sterile mutation" (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34031258/).
KCBX radio (NPR) interviewed Craig Montell on June 9, 2021 (https://www.kcbx.org/post/ucsb-gene-editing-mosquitos-could-fight-disease-raises-ethical-environmental-questions#stream/0) on the breakthrough in using gene-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technology to create sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. This method of targeting a specific gene tied to fertility in male mosquitoes — called “sterile insect technique,” or SIT — could control the population of Aedes aegypti without pesticides.
The New York Times reports (https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/17/science/crispr-mosquito-vision.html) on the work by Yinpeng Zhan et al in Current Biology 2021 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34331858/) reporting the use of CRISPR to create the first mosquitoes that cannot see hosts.
Using Drosophila as a model organism, the Craig Montell Lab at UC Santa Barbara has made an unexpected discovery about a light-sensitive receptor protein, common to humans and flies, that regulates circadian rhythms. The findings are published in the journal Nature.
It’s a problem that parents know all too well: a child won’t eat because their oatmeal is too slimy or a slice of apple is too hard. Is the kid just being finicky? Or is there a biological basis for disliking food based on its texture? This image, showing the tongue (red) of a fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster), provides some of the first evidence that biology could indeed play a role .
The main taste organ of the fruit fly (Drosophila melanogaster) is the labellum, which is equivalent to the human tongue. The labellum has two sponge-like lobes used to collect food. Within the lobes are branching neurons important for detecting toxic substances flies must avoid to survive.
If you've ever wondered how you learn to like a food you dislike, a new study conducted by UC Santa Barbara's Craig Montell, Duggan Professor of Neuroscience in the Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, may offer an answer.