Mosquitoes spread malaria. These researchers want them to fight it instead

G. Brumfiel,  NPR,  2023.

Mosquitoes carry malaria, which kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. Now some researchers are trying to use genetic engineering to make the pesky insects into allies in the fight against the disease. The approach is a radical departure from traditional ways of controlling malaria. For years, public health officials have tried to limit the disease by controlling mosquito populations. But that approach is temporary, says Anthony James, a professor of molecular biology and genetics at the University of California, Irvine. Because mosquitoes are extremely tough little insects, and their populations can quickly rebound. “To try to get rid of them, I don’t think it’s possible,” he says. Instead, James and his colleagues want to try a different approach: making mosquitoes themselves into malaria-fighting warriors.

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