RNA Technology Used to Help Save Honeybees

in Popular STEM3 months ago

RNA Technology Used to Help Save Honeybees

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-07-18/sick-honeybees-could-find-salvation-in-covid-vaccine-technology

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/greenlight-honeybee-saving-rna-solution-170400644.html

https://beeaware.org.au/archive-pest/varroa-mites/#ad-image-0

Pixabay

The world got a preview of how RNA and mRNA therapies can be used during the health crisis. Now, a new target has been chosen, and the noble cause of protecting honeybees from parasitic predation has been chosen.

Honeybees have been under assault from predators, chemicals and pesticides and parasites. Varroa mites are largely responsible for the deaths of honeybees, and can stop them from flying to plants they pollinate. The mites can also cause complete colony collapse in 3-4 years after a progressive assault on the bees and queen, and are hard to fight. Pesticides that can destroy the mites can be dangerous to the bees inside the hive, making their use counterproductive to the cause. RNA therapies can target the mites and leave the honeybees alone. Enter GreenLight Biosciences.

Varrora mites are a honeybee parasite that are largely responsible for honeybee deaths, and RNA technologies are being tailored to stop them at the source. Greenlight Biosciences has created a package of RNA-containing paste that causes the varrora mite to lose its ability to reproduce and cling to the honeybee as a parasite. The benefit of the RNA paste is that is degrades easily into the environment, unlike other persistent pesticides. GreenLight Biosciences was a finalist in the World Changing Ideas Award competition for its work with the RNA technology designed to stop varrora mites.

Honeybees are extremely important pollinators, and human existence is largely dependent on their continued existence. Some 30% of the food we eat is reliant on pollination through honeybee work. The vorrora mite is a challenge to science that is being addressed through new RNA applications, and the advent of this new technology in our toolbox brings promise for the future of the honeybee.

Posted on Hive, Blurt and Steemit

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