Efficacy test of gene drive shows it works better in males than females
A new genetic engineering technique may quickly inoculate mosquitoes against malaria, helping to end the spread of the disease in humans.
Using a gene-editing tool known as CRISPR/Cas9, researchers have made a “genetic vaccine” that will continually inject itself into mosquitoes’ DNA. Such a vaccine, known as a gene drive, could spread to nearly every mosquito in a population within a few generations. The accomplishment, described online November 23 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, brings researchers one step closer to malaria eradication.
“This work suggests that we're a hop, skip and jump away from actual gene drive candidates for eventual release,” says Kevin Esvelt, a synthetic biologist at Harvard University who was not involved in the work.
Gene drives are engineered pieces of DNA that copy and paste themselves into precise