Abstract

Nobody likes the buzzing sound or itchy bite of mosquitoes. But mosquito bites (only females bite, by the way!) are not just irritating: they can carry and spread deadly diseases such as malaria, dengue, yellow fever and many more. Every year, millions of people die from mosquito-borne diseases and most of them are young children. There are ways to get rid of mosquitoes and prevent such diseases, but they are not as effective as we would like. 

What if we used genetic engineering? Here we modified the genetic makeup of Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes (the main carriers of malaria). The mutation prevented females from biting and laying eggs. It spread through our caged populations quickly and drove them extinct. Our results pave the way for lowering mosquito populations in the wild and getting rid of malaria in the future.

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About this article

Summary of research
Scientists use genetic engineering to modify malaria mosquitoes to prevent females from biting and laying eggs.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
Scientific methods
Type of figure
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
March 2020

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