Genetic code of bloodsucking tsetse fly cracked


VIENNA: Scientists said on Thursday (Friday in Manila) they have cracked the genetic code of the tsetse fly, potentially helping to tackle one of sub-Saharan Africa’s most devastating livestock diseases as well as human sleeping sickness. “Decoding the tsetse fly’s DNA is a major scientific breakthrough,” said Kostas Bourtzis from a joint body of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, which sequenced the genome in a 10-year international effort. He said it “opens the way for more effective control of trypanosomiasis, which is good news for millions of herders and farmers in sub-Saharan Africa.” Found only in Africa, bloodsucking tsetse flies are vectors for the parasites that cause trypanosomiasis, or nagana, an often-lethal disease that affects some three million animals each year.


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