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Researchers Use Gene Editing Method To Modify Malaria-Carrying Mosquitoes To Produce Infertile Offspring

News outlets report on a study published Monday in Nature Biotechnology examining the genetic editing of mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Nature: Mosquitoes engineered to pass down genes that would wipe out their species
“…Researchers engineered Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes — which spreads malaria across sub-Saharan Africa — to pass on genes that cause infertility in female offspring. The study … relies on a technology known as a gene drive, and appears two weeks after a U.S. team reported using the same concept to engineer malaria resistance into a different mosquito species…” (Callaway, 12/7).

Newsweek: Genetically Modified African Mosquitoes Could Halt Malaria Spread
“…The researchers employed a new technique called CRISPR, a genetic method that allows scientists to cut DNA specific location in the genome and to insert desired genes, in a way that’s much quicker and cheaper than previously possible…” (Main, 12/7).

Wall Street Journal: Gene-Editing Technology Could Help Eradicate Malaria, Study Shows
“…The technology is being explored for uses from editing genes that cause human diseases such as cancer to reversing insects’ resistance to pesticide. But its potential uses, particularly for human-gene editing, have also raised serious ethical questions…” (McKay, 12/7).

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