Scientists Genetically Alter Lab Mosquitoes So Carriers Of Malaria Self-Destruct : Goats and Soda - NPR
Jul 28, 2021 1 min, 10 secs
In a landmark study, researchers showed that genetically modified Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes could crash their own species in an environment mimicking sub-Saharan Africa, where the malaria-carrying mosquitoes spread.

In a landmark study, researchers showed that genetically modified Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes could crash their own species in an environment mimicking sub-Saharan Africa, where the malaria-carrying mosquitoes spread.

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 project would also require regulatory approval and agreement by local residents in areas where those mosquitoes live, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.

Müller and her colleagues decided to use CRISPR, a technique that enables scientists to make precise changes in DNA easily to genetically modify the Anopheles gambiae species of mosquito, which spreads malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.

To try to test the mosquitoes safely under more natural conditions, the researchers built a special high-security lab in Italy designed to keep their gene-drive mosquitoes from escaping.

The researchers then released dozens of the gene-drive mosquitoes into special large cages containing hundreds of natural mosquitoes.

"In my opinion, the use of gene-drive mosquitoes are going to be effective against the spread of malaria or other vector-borne diseases," said Jeantine Lunshof, a bioethicist at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University


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