Genetically modified mosquitoes could combat malaria

Scientists manipulate insect DNA to reduce cases of deadly illness

Scientists say they will soon be able to change the DNA of wild mosquitoes to help curb malaria, an illness that caused nearly one million deaths worldwide in 2008 according to the World Health Organization. The BBC reports that researchers are getting closer to finding a gene that they could spread through most of the wild mosquito population in just a few years. Scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Washington have inserted a gene into mosquitoes that creates an enzyme to cut their DNA in two. The cell uses the gene as a template to fix itself , and the male mosquito’s sperm carries the gene on to its offspring. The gene was used in lab experiments to half of caged mosquitoes within 12 generations.

BBC News

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