Vertical and Horizontal Transmission in Paratransgenic Anopheles Mosquitoes

Wang et al. (2017) report results in Science that appear to make significant progress toward solving one of the more challenging problems associated with using paratransgenic approaches for sustainable insect phenotype modification. Paratransgenesis is an interesting concept involving the genetic […]

Funded postdoc position available in the Merlin lab to study butterfly migration and circadian clocks

The Merlin lab at Texas A&M University ( has a position open immediately for a post-doctoral fellow to develop CRISPR/Cas9-mediated knock-in approaches in monarch butterflies to tag clock neurons in vivo and study the clock circuitry that controls seasonal behavior. […]

Somatic Mutagenesis as a Powerful Functional Genomics Tool in Insects

Two recent papers published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences are notable examples of using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to create somatic mutants to probe gene function.  Mazo-Varga et. al (2017) and Zhang et al. (2017). Both studies explore […]

Will CRISPR/Cas9 Gene Drives Spread and How Could They Be Prevented From Doing So?

In an interesting paper published in PNAS, Tanaka, Stone and Nelson (2017) explore the potential for spatial spread of CRISPR/Cas9 gene drives. The authors examine a continuous time, spatial generalisation of the CRISPR/Cas9 population genetics model published by Unckless et […]