Anopheles gambiae mosquito, the vector of malaria parasites, feeding. Image: CDC/ James Gathany / Public Health Image Library
Gene drive technique eradicates malaria mosquito population in the laboratory - biotechnology science news

Scientists are well on their way to specifically change the genome of malaria mosquitos to bring about their extinction. By introducing a mutation by the CRISPR – Cas9 gene drive technique in a part of the gene that determines that is responsible for female development, mosquitos showed both male and female characteristics, failed to bite and did not lay eggs. After eight generations in the laboratory, no more females were produced, and the population collapsed as no reproduction could occur anymore. Thus, although more experiments are needed, it seems that molecular biology could be an efficient tool to eliminate mosquitos that carry malaria, probably in five to ten years from now, researchers think.

Read the full story: Imperial College London
Scientific publication: Nature Biotechnology