A Call to Fight Malaria One Mosquito at a Time by Altering DNA

Carl Zimmer, New York Times, July 17, 2014. http://mobile.nytimes.com/2014/07/17/science/a-call-to-fight-malaria-one-mosquito-at-a-time-by-altering-dna.html

Worldwide 600,000 individuals die from malaria each year.  Currently the best defenses against malaria include destroying habitats where mosquitoes breed, the distribution of insect nets, and the spraying of insecticides.  Recently CRISPR gene editing technology has been used to insert genes into the mosquito genome that imparts resistance to the malaria parasite.  In addition scientist can also insert the CRISPR gene editing system needed to propagate these genes through an entire population.  This technique, coined a “Gene Drive,” could be used to make entire populations of mosquitoes resistance to malaria thus eliminating human infection.  This same technology could also be used to reverse herbicide resistance in weeds and antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Author: Advanced Analytical

Advanced Analytical Technologies, Inc. (AATI) simplifies complex genomics workflows to accelerate research and discovery in pharmaceuticals, life science, biofuels, biotechnology and healthcare.

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