Researchers from the University of Arizona have developed a genetically modified mosquito that is immune to the malaria parasite and thus unable to transmit the illness to people. The new mosquito could eventually help control or even eliminate the disease. Malaria infects more than 250 million yearly, resulting in a million deaths worldwide, mostly children, and is spread uniquely by the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Prior attempts to produce GM mosquitoes able to combat malaria were unsuccessful because of incomplete immunity to the parasite. For this to be effective, the mosquitoes need to be 100% resistant. If ever released into the wild, scientists say it would take at least a decade for the GM variety to replace the current mosquito population and impact the spread of malaria. Read the full article in the Scotsman.