The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may soon approve a new nano-scale, gene-silencing biopesticide for commercial use — the agency will close its public comments window on the issue on Friday, Oct. 13.

The pesticide’s active ingredient, ledprona, is made of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) that silences a gene that the Colorado potato beetle needs to produce a key protein. With the gene turned off, the insect cannot function normally and dies.

Should the biopesticide be approved, it will be the first sprayable dsRNA pesticide in the world allowed to be commercially sprayed on plants.

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