Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Can’t Spread Malaria
Before the treatment of malaria was discovered it was considered to be one of deadliest diseases afflicting mankind. Even today in some parts of the world, malaria still strikes and people are helpless against it due to inadequate health facilities. Recently, Prof. Anthony James has announced that he along with his colleagues have become successful in genetically altering the malaria causing mosquitoes, which would reduce their population.
He has done some genetic engineering that will create mosquitoes which would be unable to spread malaria. The research was presented at the University of California. First tests were conducted on mice and they created antibodies to kill parasites. The scientists altered the genes of the Anopheles stephensi mosquito so that same response could be had in their bodies. This has made these mosquitoes kill parasites rather than carry them. The researchers claim that their technique can be used on other types of mosquitoes.
Further details of this research have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In countries like Pakistan, malaria is still an issue, mostly due to unhygienic conditions that prevail in many areas where mosquitoes get their breeding grounds and carry millions of kinds of germs. If they could also be altered in this way genetically, then further more human lives could be saved. The end result would be that malaria would be a thing of the past, like common cold or flu.