Researchers at University of California, Irvine say they have created a mosquito incapable of transmitting malaria, an advance with the potential to change the lives of hundreds of millions in Africa and other malaria-plagued regions of the world.
The genetically altered insect, a modified version of a mosquito species known to spread malaria in India and the Middle East, could be introduced into wild mosquito populations, the scientists said.
It would then reproduce, expanding its malaria-resistant genes throughout the population. The same laboratory method used to alter this mosquito species, the scientists said, could be used on other mosquito species, as well.
Nearly a million people die of malaria every year, mostly children and pregnant women in Africa; worldwide, 300 million to 500 people come down with malaria.
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