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//A swarm of mutant mosquitoes is out to eradicate malaria

A swarm of mutant mosquitoes is out to eradicate malaria

By | 2018-10-12T12:51:23+00:00 September 29th, 2018|News|

Jennifer O’Mahony / WIRED

Over the next year in the village of Bana, Burkina Faso, a group of scientists will set loose up to 10,000 mosquitoes sprinkled with fluorescent dust. The sterile, male swarm will represent the first ever release of a genetically modified, malaria carrying mosquito species into the wild. It’s a milestone not only for science, but also for community engagement and regulatory hurdles in Africa.

Most significantly, however, these mosquitoes will lay the ground for the eventual deployment of a powerful biological tool which researchers hope will one day stop malaria altogether.

The Target Malaria consortium, based at Imperial College London, wants to drastically reduce the world’s population of malaria-transmitting mosquitoes by forcing selective bias in the insects’ inheritance of certain genes – a process known as gene drive.

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