New gene-editing tools may help wipe out mosquito-borne diseases

Greg Allen,  NPR,  2024.

In the age-old war of human versus mosquitoes, the bugs have been winning. At least 700,000 people die every year from mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, West Nile and yellow fever. Global trade and climate change have helped disease-carrying species become established in places like Florida, California, and Texas. In parts of the U.S., dengue is now a persistent problem. Last year, for the first time in decades, Florida and Texas reported locally-acquired malaria cases. Maryland also had a case. But by using bioengineering, scientists have developed tools they believe may help control and possibly eradicate mosquitoes that carry dengue, malaria and other diseases. Andrea Leal, the head of mosquito control in the Florida Keys says, “The good news is we’ve got these emerging technologies that show great promise in reducing Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.”


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