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3 ways genetic engineering could finally eliminate malaria

| | January 6, 2017
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

[D]espite modern disease management strategies…malaria still killed nearly half a million people [in 2015].

[However,] some scientists are experimenting with how they could alter the genetic code of mosquitoes to stop malaria transmission, then use a technique called gene drive to make sure those alterations spread throughout infected mosquito populations.

[There are] three different approaches that could stop the spread of disease: scientists could alter mosquito genetics to spread a fatal flaw through the entire population, reducing overall numbers; they could modify mosquitoes to produce more male offspring than female offspring, reducing the number of mosquito bites; or they could equip mosquitoes with genes to help them fend off malaria, reducing transmission of the disease within mosquito populations and thus to humans, too…In labs, all three of these approaches have shown early promise.

Researchers from the Institute for Disease Modeling, Oxford and the Imperial College of London decided to use mathematical modeling to test how these methods might fare in the wilds of sub-Saharan Africa…The results were optimistic: “[M]alaria elimination would move from aspiration to a rapidly implementable track, saving millions of lives and freeing up many billions of dollars in global health resources to solve other challenges,” they wrote.

 

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: This Controversial Genetic Engineering Technology Could Eliminate Malaria

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