Genetic Engineering Mosquitos Resistant to Malaria

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The BBC is reoprting that a new geneticaly medified mosquito has been created that is relatively reistant to malaria. 

The study publsihed in PNAS reports

The approach exploits the fact that the health of infected mosquitoes is itself compromised by the parasite they spread. Insects that cannot be invaded by the parasite are therefore likely to be fitter and out-compete their disease-carrying counterparts.

BBC says;

The organism is passed to humans through the bite of the Anopheles mosquito. Each year it makes 300 million people ill and causes a million deaths worldwide.   Some 90% of cases are in sub-Saharan Africa, where a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds.

Before you spill all of your quinine out, the malaria variation tested was a rdent one and the researchers predict tit will be 10-20 years before GM mosq’s will be released into the wild.

Many people do not realize that the gene for sickle cell anemia functions in a similar fashion.  While deadly in its full disease form, the carrier state (or sickle cell trait) confers a relative immunity to malria and is likely the reason this genetic variation is so common in the Africal population.

While on the subject of GM mosquitos there have been frankencreatures and frankenpets before that have a fluorescent gene stuck into their genome.

The most famous is Glofish.  For more info – Here’s how the fluorescent glofish are made.  Nothing like genetic engineering to create cute pets.  Hey why not knock out growth hormone so you kitten never grows up!

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