Scientists Are Genetically Engineering Mosquitoes To Stop The Spread Of Malaria
Jan 06, 2012 13:48
Scientists are creating genetically modified mosquitoes, and the researchers at John Hopkins Malaria Research has genetically engineered the Anopheles mosquito's own immune system to block transmission of the malaria causing parasite in humans.
George Dimopoulos, who led the study, is creating mosquitoes that won't transmit the disease.
"The immune system of the Anopheles mosquito is capable of killing a large proportion — but not all — of the disease-causing parasites that are ingested when the mosquito feeds on an infected human," Dimopoulos said in a John Hopkins release. "We've genetically engineered this immune system to create mosquitoes that are better at blocking the transmission of the human malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum."
These mosquitoes have their own defense mechanism against malaria, and scientists who genetically engineered them are going to create more of them.
Yearly, the disease kills more than 800,000 people and affects more than 225 million folks around the world so go figure.