Genetic engineering may rid world of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes

Y. Steinbuch,  New York Post,  2021.

Scientists have eradicated a population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes by using genetic engineering to make the females infertile — in what the lead researcher called a possible “game-changer in bringing about malaria elimination.” A team of researchers — led by scientists at Imperial College London, Italy’s Polo Genomics Genetics and Biology, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine — used the “gene drive” technology for the study, which was published in Nature Communications. “Gene drive is a self-sustaining and fast-acting technology that can work alongside existing tools such as bed nets, insecticides and vaccines — and could be a game-changer in bringing about malaria elimination,” Andrew Hammond, a molecular biologist at Imperial College London, told the Guardian. Using the technology, scientists may circumvent natural selection by providing genetic instructions that will spread through a mosquito population and pass on a particular trait — in this case, infertility — much faster than could be attained through regular selective breeding, the outlet said.

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