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Researchers battle tick explosion

Jul 06, 2017 12:05 am
By now, most local residents have been warned that this year there are more ticks than usual, and that's known largely because of research from Rick Ostfeld of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Dutchess County. A bumper crop of acorns in 2015 led to lots of mice in 2016, which has caused a tick population explosion in 2017. Sheila M. Eldred at 538.com reports that will lead to genetically modified mice let loose sometime after 2023. Kevin Esvelt, an evolutionary engineer at MIT, is working on editing mice DNA to make them unable to pass bacteria and viruses to ticks. While Esvelt's research has created an ongoing ethical debate about manipulating wild animals, he plans to release genetically modified mice on islands seven years from now to test his work. Read the full story at 538.com.