Genetically manipulated mosquitoes could be the answer to prevent malaria from spreading and killing around a million people every year. Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans caused by a protist called Plasmodium. The parasite travels to the human liver after a mosquito sting and proceeds to red blood cells multiplicating and causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases progressing to coma, and death.
Scientists believe they aren't far away from being able to manipulate the DNA of wild mosquitoes in order to fight malaria. In the laboratory, they made a gene spread from a handful of mosquitoes to most of the population in just a few generations. If the right gene can be spreaded then researchers hope to reduce the number of malaria infections. This research, however, has a great challenge - getting those genes to spread from the gene-manipulated mosquitoes to the vast number of wild insects across the globe. Unless the gene gives the mosquito an advantage, the gene will arguably disappear.
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