Cape Cod island interested in tick project

June 6, 2018 GMT

NANTUCKET, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor is pursuing a plan to battle tick-borne diseases on Nantucket.

The Cape Cod Times reports MIT biochemist Kevin Esvelt updated the town’s select board May 30 with fundraising for a scheme to release tens of thousands of genetically-altered mice onto the island.

The project would not begin until 2024, and would involve capturing native white-footed mice immune to Lyme disease or bacteria in tick saliva that transmits that disease.


Other mice would be bred from these and released back onto the island. If the $10 million is raised for the project, Esvelt will conduct a smaller-scale experiment on an uninhabited island.


Information from: Cape Cod (Mass.) Times,