Most people probably don’t think about insects when they hear about genetically modified (GM) animals. But many scientists believe that GM insects hold great promise in the fields of public health, crop production and animal health.
For example, insects might be modified so that they no longer transmit human or animal diseases. Others might be engineered to produce pharmaceutical proteins. At the same time, the development of GM insects raises significant concerns – including environmental risks – as well as challenges to the regulatory system.
This article provides a snapshot of some of the research projects currently being undertaken, including efforts to prevent the spread of Chagas disease. And it highlights the difficulties encountered by scientists as they push ahead with this burgeoning field.