The technique is a riff on an approach used to manage agricultural pests since the 1950s known as “sterile insect technique.” Using radiation, scientists made insects like the screwworm unable to produce viable offspring. By 1982, screwworm was eradicated from the US using this alternative to pesticides. In “Silent Spring” Rachel Carson suggested this approach was the solution to the dangers of harmful pesticides agricultural producers required to protect their crops. The problem was that it did not work on every insect—in many cases, it simply left irradiated insects too weak to compete for mates with their healthier kin.
Carbamazepine has been shown to have adverse effects in reproduction studies in rats when given orally in dosages 10 to 25 times the maximum human daily dosage (MHDD) of 1200 mg on a mg/kg basis or to 4 times the MHDD on a mg/m 2 basis. In rat tera tology studies, 2 of 135 offspring showed kinked ribs at 250 mg/kg and 4 of 119 offspring at 650 mg/kg showed other anomalies (cleft palate, 1; talipes, 1; anophthal mos, 2). In reproduction studies in rats, nursing offspring demonstrated a lack of weight gain and an unkempt appearance at a maternal dosage level of 200 mg/kg.