During a recent study, scientists were able to find a way to control the mosquito population. And that way is to break their eggshells.
Scientists isolated a protein called eggshell organizing factor 1 or EOF1 for short which is crucial for the healthy development of mosquito embryos. If the production of that protein is hindered in some way, the mosquito eggs became porous and often collapsed. During testing, almost none of the embryos from the pale eggs with the disrupted EOF1 protein turned into larvae.
The EOF1 is a protein that is produced by a few mosquito species. And most of these species of mosquitoes are the ones responsible for the spreading of diseases like malaria, Zika, dengue, and the West Nile virus. If scientists were able to target these proteins on a regular basis successfully, they could severely impact the rates at which these viruses spread. Genetically engineering insecticides that can break down mosquito eggs are going to make a huge difference in the battle against these disease-carrying mosquitos. What is even better, they are not harmful to other harmless insects.
This is a genuinely different way of approaching the malaria problem, and it has gotten scientists excited about its prospects. There is still a long way to go before implementing this solution is possible, but the situation is highly promising. The biggest issue is the process of manipulating the EOF1 protein. It is far too complicated and cumbersome for commercial use, at least at this moment in time. Additionally, scientists are still unable to produce a chemical that can target EOF1 and disable it without affecting other compounds as well until they can create something which is a 100 percent effective at disabling just EOF1 and no other compounds.
Fortunately, at this point, any type of breakthrough regarding mosquito production is more than welcome.