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Jul 28, 2021

How An Altered Strand Of DNA Can Cause Malaria-Spreading Mosquitoes To Self-Destruct

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, biotech/medical, genetics, health

Despite years of efforts, malaria remains a major health problem. The mosquito-borne parasitic disease sickens more than 200 million people every year and kills more than 400000, many of whom are children.


For the first time, scientists have shown that a new kind of genetic engineering can crash populations of malaria-spreading mosquitoes.

In the landmark study, published Wednesday in the journal Nature Communications, researchers placed the genetically modified mosquitoes in a special laboratory that simulated the conditions in sub-Saharan Africa, where they spread the deadly disease.

The male mosquitoes were engineered with a sequence of DNA known as a “gene drive” that can rapidly transmit a deleterious mutation that essentially wipes out populations of the insects.

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