Genetically Modified Male-Only Mosquitoes In Fight Against Malaria

Geo Beats
2.1K
301 views
  • About
  • Export
  • Add to
Only female mosquitoes bite people and spread diseases like malaria, which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually, and is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa. Researchers from Imperial College London claim they have come up with a way to stop mosquitoes from biting people and spreading infectious diseases by making most of them male.

Only female mosquitoes bite people and spread diseases like malaria, which kills hundreds of thousands of people annually, and is most prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa.

Researchers from Imperial College London claim they have come up with a way to stop mosquitoes from biting people and spreading infectious diseases by making most of them male.

Genetically modifying the mosquitoes’ sperm to produce 95 percent male offspring might help slow the spread of deadly diseases.

To accomplish this, the researchers shredded the X chromosome during the production of the genetically modified mosquitoes’ sperm, meaning there were fewer sperm carrying the X chromosome needed to produce a female.

Nikolai Windbichler, who worked on the study is quoted as saying: “What is most promising about our results is that they are self-sustaining. Once modified mosquitoes are introduced, males will start to produce mainly sons, and their sons will do the same, so essentially the mosquitoes carry out the work for us.”

In lab tests, female mosquito populations decreased significantly four generations after the genetically modified males were introduced to the isolated cages.

Other experts say that changing the genetics might work for a little while, but wouldn’t spread indefinitely unless they figured out a way to alter the mosquitoes’ Y chromosome.

0 comments