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Mosquito, Mosquito

A new invasive mosquito has been identified in Florida, according to NPR.

It adds that the University of Florida's Lawrence Reeves first found these invasive mosquitos among ones he trapped in the Everglade. Genetic analysis revealed them to be Aedes scapularis, a species of mosquito Reeves tells NPR viruses like Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus and yellow fever virus have been found within Ae. scapularis. It's typically found in the Caribbean and Latin America, NPR notes.

Reeves and his colleagues have further found that that mosquito is now found throughout Miami-Dade and Broward counties and could spread along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts of Florida.

"If you end up with a species that's capable of transmitting to [birds] and likes to also bite humans, that's the prime condition for a spillover event," UF's Lindsay Campbell tells NPR.

NPR adds that researchers are even more concerned about another mosquito, Aedes vittatus, which is a vector for many diseases, and has been spotted in Cuba.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

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Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

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Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.