Bio-weapons for good: Chemicals and genetics could battle havoc-creating zebra mussels


[Kenny Beckman’s lab at the University of Minnesota] expects to release…the first ever sequence of the entire genome of the highly invasive [zebra mussel] . Researchers say it will be a major advance in the race to unleash sophisticated chemical, biological and genetic weapons against a foe that, in the 25 years since it appeared in Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, has been pursued mostly by boat inspectors and specially trained dogs.

Hypothetically, gene splicing could create mutant zebra mussels that are unable to produce female offspring. Released into a lake with wild zebra mussels, their offspring would inherit the broken gene, and eventually the mussels would be daughterless and die out without endangering non-target species.

[DNR research scientist Gary Montz], an expert on aquatic invertebrates, believes the breadth of research underway can stop an all-out eruption of zebra mussels across thousands of Minnesota’s pristine waterways. Until then, the more lakes they invade, the harder it will be to wipe them out, he said.

“A lot of people have spent a lot of time and a lot of money looking for that silver bullet and we still don’t have it,” Montz said.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Meet the scientists fighting the spread of zebra mussels in Minnesota

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

Video: Test everyone – Slovakia goes its own way to control COVID

As Europe sees record coronavirus cases and deaths, Slovakia is testing its entire adult population. WSJ's Drew Hinshaw explains how ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend