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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health, Volume 14, Issue 9 (September 2017)
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Mosquitoes spread devastating human diseases including malaria, dengue and Zika. Mosquito control [...] Read more. Mosquitoes spread devastating human diseases including malaria, dengue and Zika. Mosquito control has historically relied on insecticides as the primary means to reduce disease burdens. Harnessing the power of genome-editing, scientists are developing genetic alternatives to insecticides, including field releases of genetically-modified insects. These technologies are relatively new to mosquito control, especially gene-drives, which have improved immensely with the recent use of CRISPR/Cas9, but these technologies are rooted in a long history of research in both mosquitoes and other insects and an improved understanding of mosquito genomes. To highlight the utility of genetic tools in the context of mosquito control, Macias et al. review the history of gene-drive for insect pest control and the development of site-specific gene-editing for the future of vector-borne disease control. (Artwork by Valentino Gantz) View the paper