Scientists are set to release “gene drive” mosquitoes, which could control mosquito populations in Africa. (Photo credit: James Gathany, courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

By Jacob Williamson-Rea

Our weekly round-up compiles stories and news, both from here at Penn and around the world, that highlight the intersection of animal, environmental, and human health.

Researchers to release genetically engineered mosquitoes in Africa for the first time
Scientific American, September 5, 2018
“Gene drive” mosquitoes, which have mutations that would efficiently reduce mosquito populations, will be released in three African countries: Burkina Faso, Mali, and Uganda.

The bugs are coming, and they’ll want more of our food
The New York Times, August 30, 2018
Climate change–induced warming is set to increase the number of bugs that consume our crops, according to a recent study published in Science.

The world of an oyster: Scientists are using microphones to spy on reef life
NPR, September 4, 2018
Scientists use water cannons to create reef-like habitats for oysters. But what impact does this have on overall biodiversity?

Eight bird species are first confirmed avian extinctions this decade
The Guardian, September 4, 2018
The extinctions appear to result from an increasingly worrisome crisis. Scientists warn that this is part of a human-driven sixth great extinction.

How plant microbes could feed the world and save endangered species
Science News, September 6, 2018
Each plant has its own microbiome, and scientists are exploring how to use them to help endangered plants.

With limited funds for conservation, researchers spar over which species to save—and which to let go
Science, September 6, 2018
Scientists are making tough decisions about allocating funds to save certain species—but this also involves deciding when a species is too far gone to even try.