Keywords: malaria

Mosquito transgenesis for malaria control

S. Dong, Y. Dong, M. L. Simões and G. Dimopoulos,  Trends in Parasitology,  2021.
Malaria is one of the deadliest diseases. Because of the ineffectiveness of current malaria-control methods, several novel mosquito vector-based control strategies have been proposed to supplement existing control strategies. Mosquito transgenesis and gene drive have emerged as ...
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Genetically changed mosquitoes could transform Africa’s long fight against malaria

L. Singh,  ForumIAS,  2021.
In nature, there’s a phenomenon called gene drive which operates in the process of reproduction. This is when a genetic element is able to increase the chance that it will be inherited by offspring. The general underlying principle of all gene drives is an organism that will ...
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Africa must not rest until Malaria rests: What is the role of emerging technologies?

R. Oronje,  AFIDEP,  2021.
As we mark the World Mosquito Day today, it is a sad reminder that Malaria still kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, majority of these people in Africa. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Malaria killed 409,000 people in 2019, and 94% of these deaths ...
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The Complex Lives of Mosquitoes: The Key for Malaria Control

F. Okumu,  ISGlobal,  2021.
Mosquitoes spread diseases to millions of people around the world, yet they remain poorly understood by most. Studying their biology and behaviours can help us combat, and eventually eliminate, dangerous diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.There are nearly 3,500 species of ...
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Mobilizing Mutant Mosquitoes to Fight Malaria

D. Mclaughlin and J. Recht,  United Nations Foundation,  2021.
World Mosquito Day today marks the 1897 discovery by Sir Ronald Ross that female Anopheles mosquitoes spread malaria. Since that breakthrough, the world has fought this deadly disease through scientific research and new technology. While astounding progress has been made against ...
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Identifying Sites for Testing Modified Mosquitoes as a Strategy to Eradicate Malaria

A. Fell,  UC Davis News,  2021.
In a newly published article in the journal Evolutionary Applications Professor Greg Lanzaro and his team at the Vector Genetics Laboratory, UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, set forth a framework for the selection of field sites in Africa best suited for testing ...
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New mosquito control tools are critical

L. Braack,  Open Access Government,  2021.
Globally, we are making slow headway in the fight against malaria, but there has been progress, nonetheless. Since 2000, 39 countries and territories have managed to rid themselves of malaria; the most recent is China. Existing tools can achieve local elimination, but the battle ...
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Scientists eradicate malaria-transmitting mosquitos using genetic engineering which make females infertile in new study which takes one step closer to wiping out the disease worldwide.

C. Ciaccia,  Daily Mail,  2021.
Malaria kills nearly 500,000 people globally every year, but scientists have now figured out a way to use CRISPR gene-editing technology to make female mosquitoes infertile, described as a 'game-changer' for ending the deadly disease. Researchers from Imperial College London, ...
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Breakthrough in non-GMO malaria control

C. Robinson and J. Matthews,  GM Watch,  2021.
A just-published study carried out in a high-security lab claims to show that a CRISPR gene drive (a way of forcing a heritable genetic modification through a whole species or population) can crash populations of malaria-spreading mosquitoes. But why crash mosquito populations ...
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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 ...
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Gene-Drive Technology Could Decimate Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes–Scientists Use CRISPR to Modify the Insects’ Genes

J. Henry,  Tech Times,  2021.
Gene-drive technology can now suppress the growing numbers of mosquitoes that carry malaria. A group of researchers discovered that this gene-editing technique can eradicate the vectors that could rapidly populate in a particular environment. A mosquito (Anopheles albimanus) is ...
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Malaria-carrying mosquitoes could be bred out of existence using ‘gene drive’ technology

A. Wilkins,  METRO,  2021.
Malaria-carrying mosquitoes have been eliminated using ‘gene drive’ technology in a nature-like environment, in a world-first study. By altering a gene that blocks female mosquito reproduction, and allowing that gene to spread, researchers found they could ensure complete ...
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Scientists reveal controversial genetically modified mosquitoes in high-security lab

The Frontier Post,  The Frontier Post,  2021.
Many years of additional research will be needed to prove the approach works and the mosquitoes would be safe to release into the wild. The project would also require regulatory approval and agreement by local residents in areas where those mosquitoes live, mostly in sub-Saharan ...
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Genetic engineering test with mosquitoes ‘may be game changer’ in eliminating malaria

L. Geddes,  The Guardian,  2021.
Scientists have successfully wiped out a population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes by using a radical form of genetic engineering to render the females infertile – in the most advanced and largest ever test of use of the technology to fight the disease. As well as bringing ...
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How An Altered Strand Of DNA Can Cause Malaria-Spreading Mosquitoes To Self-Destruct

R. Stein,  NPR,  2021.
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 ...
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A lab experiment shows that we could engineer malaria-carrying mosquitoes to kill themselves off

A. Micu,  ZME Science,  2021.
A new paper showcases how genetic engineering can be used to cause populations of malaria-spreading mosquitoes to self-destroy. An international research effort has shown, in the context of a lab experiment, that male mosquitoes engineered to carry a certain strand of DNA can ...
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Malarial mosquitoes suppressed in experiments that mimic natural environments

H. Dunning,  Phys Org,  2021.
Researchers have shown "gene drive" technology, which spreads a genetic modification blocking female reproduction, works in natural-like settings. The team, led by researchers from Imperial College London, Polo GGB and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine were able to suppress ...
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Horizontal Transmission of the Symbiont Microsporidia MB in Anopheles arabiensis

G. Nattoh, T. Maina, E. E. Makhulu, L. Mbaisi, E. Mararo, F. G. Otieno, T. Bukhari, T. O. Onchuru, E. Teal, J. Paredes, J. L. Bargul, D. M. Mburu, E. A. Onyango, G. Magoma, S. P. Sinkins and J. K. Herren,  Frontiers in Microbiology,  12. 2021.
The recently discovered Anopheles symbiont, Microsporidia MB, has a strong malaria transmission-blocking phenotype in Anopheles arabiensis, the predominant Anopheles gambiae species complex member in many active transmission areas in eastern Africa. The ability of Microsporidia ...
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Gene-drive suppression of mosquito populations in large cages as a bridge between lab and field

A. Hammond, P. Pollegioni, T. Persampieri, A. North, R. Minuz, A. Trusso, A. Bucci, K. Kyrou, I. Morianou, A. Simoni, T. Nolan, R. Müller and A. Crisanti,  Nature Communications,  12:4589. 2021.
CRISPR-based gene-drives targeting the gene doublesex in the malaria vector Anopheles gambiae effectively suppressed the reproductive capability of mosquito populations reared in small laboratory cages. To bridge the gap between laboratory and the field, this gene-drive ...
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Selection of sites for field trials of genetically engineered mosquitoes with gene drive

G. C. Lanzaro, M. Campos, M. Crepeau, A. Cornel, A. Estrada, H. Gripkey, Z. Haddad, A. Kormos and S. Palomares,  Evolutionary Applications,  15. 2021.
Novel malaria control strategies using genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEMs) are on the horizon. Population modification is one approach wherein mosquitoes are engineered with genes rendering them refractory to the malaria parasite, Plasmodium falciparum, coupled with a ...
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GM mosquitoes to fight malaria

I. Khisa,  The INDEPENDENT,  2021.
Scientists at the Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) plans to undertake a research on genetically engineered mosquitoes to tackle malaria. Dr. Jonathan Kayondo, the principal investigator Target Malaria Uganda and Senior Research Officer at UVRI had an email interview with ...
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Combating mosquito-borne diseases using genetic control technologies

G.-H. Wang, S. Gamez, R. R. Raban, J. M. Marshall, L. Alphey, M. Li, J. L. Rasgon and O. S. Akbari,  Nature Communications,  12:4388. 2021.
Mosquito-borne diseases, such as dengue and malaria, pose significant global health burdens. Unfortunately, current control methods based on insecticides and environmental maintenance have fallen short of eliminating the disease burden. Scalable, deployable, genetic-based ...
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Gene Drives – Engineering the Wild

L. Sharratt,  Sentinel,  2021.
So far, genetically engineered organisms have been mostly limited to agricultural use, with partial success. Around the world, a few major crops (mostly corn, soy, and cotton) are genetically engineered, predominantly for herbicide tolerance and insect resistance. However, the ...
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Africa Turning to Gene Drive Technology for Malaria Elimination

M. Hearty,  Science Africa,  2021.
With Africa accounting for nine out of ten malaria cases globally, the continent is turning to gene drive technology to control the disease. This is according to a decision made by African leaders at the 29th Summit of Heads of States and Governments of the African Union held in ...
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A new tool in the global fight against malaria

S. Laux,  Brighter World,  2021.
McMaster researchers with the Institute on Ethics & Policy for Innovation (IEPI) have played a key role in developing updated international guidelines that will inform research and development on genetically modified mosquitoes – an initiative that could significantly affect ...
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Fighting disease: How are genetically engineered mosquitoes regulated?

A. Julie,  Global News,  2021.
Mosquitoes have long been associated with the spread of diseases like malaria, dengue fever and the Zika virus. But scientists around the world have been exploring the possibility that mosquitoes could also be key to slowing the spread of disease. By genetically altering the DNA ...
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The (Losing) Battle Against Mosquitoes In Texas

J. Clayton,  Texas Public Radio,  2021.
Jerry Clayton: Mosquitoes are a fact of life in Texas, and the battle against the pesky biting insects is never ending. But there are some new weapons on the horizon. Zach Adleman is an associate professor of entomology at Texas A&M University. He joins us today. Thanks for being ...
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CRISPR-mediated knock-in of transgenes into the malaria vector Anopheles funestus

C. Quinn, A. Anthousi, C. Wondji and T. Nolan,  G3 Genes Genomes Genetics,  11. 2021.
The ability to introduce mutations, or transgenes, of choice to precise genomic locations has revolutionized our ability to understand how genes and organisms work. In many mosquito species that are vectors of various human diseases, the advent of CRISPR genome editing tools has ...
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Stable high-density and maternally inherited Wolbachia infections in Anopheles moucheti and Anopheles demeilloni mosquitoes

T. Walker, S. Quek, C. L. Jeffries, J. Bandibabone, V. Dhokiya, R. Bamou, M. Kristan, L. A. Messenger, A. Gidley, E. A. Hornett, E. R. Anderson, C. Cansado-Utrilla, S. Hegde, C. Bantuzeko, J. C. Stevenson, N. F. Lobo, S. C. Wagstaff, C. A. Nkondjio, S. R.,  Current Biology,  31:2310. 2021.
Wolbachia, a widespread bacterium that can reduce pathogen transmission in mosquitoes, has recently been reported to be present in Anopheles (An.) species. In wild populations of the An. gambiae complex, the primary vectors of Plasmodium malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa, Wolbachia ...
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European Parliament calls for ban on gene drive technology

Save Our Seeds,  Save Our Seeds,  2021.
The European Parliament yesterday confirmedi it‘s precautionary stance towards the use of a new genetic engineering technology called gene drive. In its report on the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy for 2030, adopted at the European Parliament’s plenary on 08.06.2021, ...
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Vector control: Discovery of Wolbachia in malaria vectors

P. A. Ross and A. A. Hoffmann,  Current Biology,  31:R738-R740. 2021.
Wolbachia bacteria are being widely released for suppression of dengue transmitted by Aedes mosquitoes. Walker, Quek, Jeffries and colleagues present robust evidence for natural Wolbachia infections in malaria-vectoring Anopheles mosquitoes, paving the way for new ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes and Africa

S. Bagcchi,  Sci Dev Net,  2021.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has released new guidance for the deployment of genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes to combat vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue. GM mosquitoes may carry a gene that kills female progeny and the technology can be used against the ...
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‘Death gene’ in genetically modified male mosquitoes

J. Goddard,  The Times,  2021.
Tens of thousands of bio-engineered mosquitoes have taken flight in the Florida Keys under a pilot project that aims to breed insects programmed with a “death switch”. Genetically modified males produced by Oxitec — a British-founded biotechnology company — have begun ...
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What is wrong in extinguishing a species? Charting the Ethical Challenges of using Gene-Drive Technologies to eradicate A. gambiae vector populations

M. Annoni and T. Pievani,  Biolaw Journal-Rivista Di Biodiritto,  2021.
This article analyses three ethical arguments against the use of gene-drive technologies to control for, and possibly extinguish, a particular species of vector mosquitoes (Anopheles gambiae) causing the malaria infection. We conclude that none of these arguments is truly ...
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Improving mosquito control strategies with population genomics

T. L. Schmidt, N. M. Endersby-Harshman and A. A. Hoffmann,  Trends in Parasitology,  37:907-921. 2021.
Mosquito control strategies increasingly apply knowledge from population genomics research. This review highlights recent applications to three research domains: mosquito invasions, insecticide resistance evolution, and rear and release programs. Current research trends follow ...
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Why the EU should back research into gene drive – even if Europe never uses it

R. Müller,  The Brussels Times,  2021.
As the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy reaches the European Parliament, it has reopened a worrying debate about research into gene drive technology, a tool which could pave the way for biasing the inheritance of desired genetic traits through targeted species. Advances in this kind ...
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Malaria-Resistant Mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae); The Principle is Proven, But Will the Effectors Be Effective?

Z. N. Adelman and B. B. Kojin,  Journal of Medical Entomology,  58:1997-2005. 2021.
Over the last few decades, a substantial number of anti-malarial effector genes have been evaluated for their ability to block parasite infection in the mosquito vector. While many of these approaches have yielded significant effects on either parasite intensity or prevalence of ...
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Burkina Faso Testing Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Curb Malaria

H. Wilkins,  Voice of America,  2021.
The mosquito-borne disease malaria kills more than 400,000 people each year, the vast majority in Africa. Target Malaria, an international group of scientists, is working in Burkina Faso on a genetic solution. Abdoulaye Diabate, with the West African country’s Research ...
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Small-Cage Laboratory Trials of Genetically-Engineered Anopheline Mosquitoes

R. Carballar-Lejarazú, T. B. Pham, V. Bottino-Rojas, A. Adolfi and A. A. James,  J Vis Exp,  2021.
Control of mosquito-borne pathogens using genetically-modified vectors has been proposed as a promising tool to complement conventional control strategies. CRISPR-based homing gene drive systems have made transgenic technologies more accessible within the scientific community. ...
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First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in U.S. Are Hatching Now

D. Coffey,  Scientific American,  2021.
This week, mosquito eggs placed in the Florida Keys are expected to hatch tens of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes, a result of the first U.S. release of such insects in the wild. A biotechnology firm called Oxitec delivered the eggs in late April as part of a ...
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In a World-First, Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Are Hatching in the US

Mosquito eggs placed in the Florida Keys are about to hatch tens of thousands of genetically altered mosquitos, the first such release of "synthetic" insects in the world, according to an initial report from Scientific American. Pilot program for genetically modified mosquitoes ...
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A natural symbiotic bacterium drives mosquito refractoriness to Plasmodium infection via secretion of an antimalarial lipase

H. Gao, L. Bai, Y. M. Jiang, W. Huang, L. L. Wang, S. G. Li, G. D. Zhu, D. Q. Wang, Z. H. Huang, X. S. Li, J. Cao, L. B. Jiang, M. Jacobs-Lorena, S. Zhan and S. B. Wang,  Nature Microbiology,  25. 2021.
The stalling global progress in the fight against malaria prompts the urgent need to develop new intervention strategies. Whilst engineered symbiotic bacteria have been shown to confer mosquito resistance to parasite infection, a major challenge for field implementation is to ...
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What Are GMO Mosquitoes and What Is Their Purpose?

A. Krosofsky,  GREENMATTERS,  2021.
Scientists have made GMO corn, strawberries, even many types of farm animals. Now, it seems, they have managed to genetically modify mosquitoes as well. But what is the purpose of GMO mosquitoes, and why would scientists go out of their way to create something that is already a ...
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Selection of Sites for Field Trials of Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes with Gene Drive

G. C. Lanzaro, M. Campos, M. Crepeau, A. Cornel, A. Estrada, H. Gripkey, Z. Haddad, A. Kormos, S. Palomares and W. Sharpee,  bioRxiv,  2021.04.28.441877. 2021.
Novel malaria control strategies using genetically engineered mosquitoes (GEMs) are on the horizon. Population modification is one approach wherein mosquitoes are engineered with genes rendering them refractory to the malaria parasite coupled with a low-threshold, Cas9-based gene ...
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“Maskandi experience”: exploring the use of a cultural song for community engagement in preparation for a pilot Sterile Insect Technique release programme for malaria vector control in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa 2019

P. N. Manana, S. Jewett, J. Zikhali, D. Dlamini, N. Mabaso, Z. Mlambo, R. Ngobese and G. Munhenga,  Malaria Journal,  20:11. 2021.
Background An assessment of the Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) as a complementary malaria vector control tool, is at an advanced stage in South Africa. The technique involves the release of laboratory-reared sterilized male mosquitoes of the major malaria vector Anopheles ...
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Does Gene Technology Offer Potential to Wipe Out Malaria?

Anonymous,  AFIDEP,  2021.
The persisting high numbers of Malaria deaths and illnesses mean that the current tools will not get us to zero Malaria. For this reason, experts have continued to explore new tools for Malaria elimination. The gene drive technology is one of the tools being explored for Malaria ...
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CRISPR may help curb malaria by altering a mosquito’s gut genes, new study suggests

Cornell Alliance for Science,  Genetic Literacy Project,  2021.
Altering a mosquito’s gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria, suggests a preliminary study published in eLife. The study is the latest in a series of steps toward using CRISPR-Cas9 ...
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Fighting mosquitoes with mosquitoes

W. Feng,  The Daily Targum,  2021.
When you think about the animal that has killed the greatest number of humans in the world, you generally tend to think of large predators. Is it perhaps the great white shark or maybe the cute but deadly hippopotamus? While these animals are certainly deadly, the number of ...
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Eliminating malaria via a simple genetic modification

S. Gunn,  Front Line Genomics,  2021.
Despite decades worth of research and efforts, data from 2015 onwards suggests that there has been no significant progress in reducing global malaria cases. Every year, around 400,00 people die from malaria, with over 90% of cases being within sub-Saharan Africa. The rise of ...
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This Malaria Preventing Mosquito Is Not A GMO But Is A Science Boost For Nature – Will Activists Want To Block It?

H. Campbell,  science 2.0,  2021.
Mosquitoes like Aedes aegypti don't have any value ecologically. If Thanos snapped them out of existence tomorrow there is nothing they do that won't immediately be taken up by 3,000 other mosquito species, not to mention 25,000 bee species when it comes to pollination. The ...
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Breeding Malaria Out: Scientists Engineer Mosquitos to Spread Antimalaria Genes

L. Papadopoulos,  INTERSTING ENGINEERING,  2021.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), malaria is a "serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans." There are four types of malaria parasites: Plasmodium falciparum, P. ...
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Curbing Malaria’s Spread by Genetic Engineering

Anonymous,  Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News,  2021.
There is an urgent need to find new ways to combat the growing mosquito resistance to pesticides and malaria parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs. Gene drives are being tested as a new approach. In a new study, researchers from the Imperial College London reported that their ...
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New genetic modification could cut malaria spread

Staff Writers,  MALAYSIA NOW,  2021.
Altering a mosquito’s gut genes to make them spread antimalarial genes to the next generation of their species shows promise as an approach to curb malaria, suggests a preliminary study published in eLife on Tuesday. The study is the latest in a series of steps being taken ...
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Researchers Using Mutant Mosquitoes To End Malaria, Which Kills 4 Lakh Per Year

M. Mohanti,  India Times,  2021.
Every year, more than 22 crore people get infected with malaria and more than 4 lakh die because of it. In fact, in 2019, nearly half of the world's population was at risk of malaria. According to WHO, infants or children aged under 5 years are the most vulnerable group, ...
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Converting endogenous genes of the malaria mosquito into simple non-autonomous gene drives for population replacement

A. Hoermann, S. Tapanelli, P. Capriotti, G. Del Corsano, E. K. G. Masters, T. Habtewold, G. K. Christophides and N. Windbichler,  eLife,  10. 2021.
Gene drives for mosquito population replacement are promising tools for malaria control. However, there is currently no clear pathway for safely testing such tools in endemic countries. The lack of well-characterized promoters for infection-relevant tissues and regulatory hurdles ...
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Why do you think a gene drive approach could help with malaria and dengue?

Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research,  Outreach Network for Gene Drive Research,  2021.

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CRISPR-mediated knock-in of transgenes into the malaria vector Anopheles funestus

C. Quinn, A. Anthousi, C. Wondji and T. Nolan,  bioRxiv,  2021.03.31.437891. 2021.
We describe herein an optimised transformation system based on the germline delivery of CRISPR components that allows efficient cleavage of a previously validated genomic site and preferential repair of these cut sites via homology-directed repair (HDR), which allows introduction ...
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Quantifying the risk of vector-borne disease transmission attributable to genetically modified vectors

G. R. Hosack, A. Ickowicz and K. R. Hayes,  Royal Society Open Science,  8:201525. 2021.
The relative risk of disease transmission caused by the potential release of transgenic vectors, such as through sterile insect technique or gene drive systems, is assessed with comparison with wild-type vectors. The probabilistic risk framework is demonstrated with an assessment ...
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The ethical scientist in a time of uncertainty

L. Zoloth,  Cell,  184:1430-1439. 2021.
Using the example of gene drives for malaria control to explore the problem of deep uncertainty in biomedical research, I argue that profound uncertainty is an essential feature. Applying the language and presumptions of the discipline of philosophical ethics, I describe three ...
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femaleless Controls Sex Determination and Dosage Compensation Pathways in Females of Anopheles Mosquitoes

E. Krzywinska, L. Ferretti, J. Li, J.-C. Li, C.-H. Chen and J. Krzywinski,  Current Biology,  31:1084-1091.e4. 2021.
Here we show that in the African malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae, a gene, which likely arose in the Anopheles lineage and which we call femaleless (fle), controls sex determination in females by regulating splicing of dsx and fruitless (fru; another terminal gene within a ...
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In Uganda, genetically modified mosquitoes bring hope and fear

Anonymous,  africanews,  2021.
Scientists here are investigating whether populations of the malaria-carrying insects can be reduced by genetic modification. They're looking at the viability of releasing large numbers of genetically modified mosquitos into the wild to influence future generations. The study ...
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The science & ethics of gene drive technology from a conservation & development perspective

Renew Europe,  Renew Europe,  2021.
This hearing intends to examine gene-drive technology and its possible impacts, including unintended ones and reveal the complexity of an unknown technology with inherent uncertainties. Scientists from different backgrounds in the field of gene-drive research will present most ...
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Genetically modified mosquitoes for better health

D. Devis,  COSMOS,  2021.