Genetic Engineering Could Thwart the Zika Virus, Among Other Mosquito-Borne Diseases

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Zika Symptoms

The common symptoms are:
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Joint Pain
  • Conjunctivitis (Red eyes)
  • Muscle Pain
  • Headache
  • Symptoms similar to dengue or chikungunya
  • Mild illness lasting a few days to a week

Zika Treatment

There is at present no vaccine or medications to prevent or treat Zika. Never-the-less, the symptoms can be treated by taking plenty of rest. Also drink fluids to prevent dehydration. Medicines can be taken to relieve fever and pain, as advised by doctor.

 Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another through mosquito bites.

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Genetic Engineering Route to Solve the Zika Problem

Recombinant DNA Technology is used to create genetically-modified mosquitoes. A dominant-lethal gene is introduced into these male mosquitoes.

'Sterile Insect Technique' is being employed to biologically control insect population. In this method, a large number of sterile male mosquitoes are released in the wild.

These sterile males compete with the fertile wild males to mate with the fertile wild female mosquitoes. The result of a sterile male and fertile wild female is that no offspring is produced. So the population of mosquitoes is reduced in every generation.

The drawback to this approach is that a large population of sterile, 'lab-grown' male mosquitoes is required to effectively dent the population growth.

Multiple Choice Questions

A process in which transgenic animals are used to mass-produce rare and expensive proteins for medicinal use.
(1) pharmacopeia
(2) pharming
(3) pharmacology
(4) pharmacognosy


Lambda Phage is an example of
(1) Plasmid
(2) Bacteriophage
(3) Cosmid
(4) Phasmid or Phagemid


Recombinant DNA is also called ______
(1) Plasmid
(2) Circular DNA
(3) Chimeric DNA
(4) Naked DNA


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