Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Stopping the Snakehead

PostedJuly 17, 2004

Download File (mp3)

It's an environmental disaster in the making.  Snakeheads have no natural predators here, and they eat other fish.  Now they're living—and probably breeding—in waters that can't be strained, drained, or poisoned.  Bill Muir, a Purdue biologist, thinks genetic engineering is likely the only option for clearing the Potomac of this invading pest.  He says genes unique to snakeheads could be engineered to slowly cause death or prevent female offspring, and initiate a targeted local extinction.  The downside is the lab work and careful environmental testing could take five to ten years.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.