LONDON : Scientists wipe out malaria mosquitoes in lab trials. Scientists have succeeded in wiping put a population of caged mosquitoes in laboratory experiments using a type of genetic engineering  known as a genre drive, which spread a modification blocking female reproduction.

The researchers, whose work was published on Monday in the Journal Nature Biotechnology, managed to eliminate the population in less than 11 generations, suggesting the technique could in future be used to control the spread of  Malaria, a parasitic disease carried by Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes.

''It will still be at east five to 10 years before we consider testing any mosquitoes with gene drive in the wild, but now we have some encouraging proof that we're on the  right path,'' said Andrea Crisanti, a professor at  Imperial College London, who co-led the work.

The technique used in the study was designed to target the specific mosquito species Anopheles  gambiae that is reponsible for malaria transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

The disease infected about 216 million  people worldwide in 2016 and killed 445,000 of them. [Reuters]


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