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DNA editing shows success in mosquito sterilization

Gene drive could eliminate malaria-carrying Anopheles gambiae

1:01pm, December 7, 2015

A new genetic tool may help eradicate Africa’s main malaria-carrying mosquitoes.  

A self-propagating cut-and-paste system known as a gene drive can sterilize female Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes, researchers report December 7 in Nature Biotechnology.

This is the second gene drive aimed at eliminating malaria. The first, published November 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (SN Online: 11/23/15), would stop mosquitoes from transmitting the parasite. The new gene drive would eliminate the mosquitoes themselves by making it impossible for females to reproduce.

Gene drives are engineered pieces of DNA designed to slice a target gene and insert themselves. Like Star Trek’s Borg, gene drives assimilate every unaltered target

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