Johns Hopkins scientists genetically engineer malaria-resistant mosquitoes

Yahoo: Mosquitoes are bad news when it comes to the spread of malaria, a deadly disease which kills hundreds of thousands of people each year. We previously covered a range of approaches to cracking down on this problem — ranging from apps which track disease-carrying mosquitoes by listening to their buzz to a plan to release genetically engineered killer mosquitoes to hunt down their disease-carrying wild counterparts.

Now researchers from Johns Hopkins Universtiy have another approach, and it involves CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing. Specifically, they engineered mosquitoes which are resistant to the malaria parasite, by deleting a gene called FREP1 which helps malaria survive in the mosquito’s gut.

“A major problem with malaria control is that it is a disease of the poor developing world and requires active compliance and participation by the endemic population,” George Dimopoulos, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, told Digital Trends.

The issue with this is that active compliance and participation means people taking antimalarial drugs, removing larval breeding sites and using bed nets, all things which are not always possible in areas where resources are scarce. Johns Hopkins’ genetically modified (GM) mosquito, on the other hand, represents a suitable solution because it does not require any such active participation.  more

16 Comments on Johns Hopkins scientists genetically engineer malaria-resistant mosquitoes

  1. I’m sorry, but I’m more into eradication of mosquitoes. DDT solved that problem over a century ago, then along came Rachel Carson with her enviro fantasy book “Silent Spring” and morons ate it hook, line and sinker.

    Ask your greenie friends about the millions of people who have died as a result of their idiocy.

    If not for eradication of insect borne diseases, the pursuit of lighter and lighter (and unsafe) cars in pursuit of mileage edicts.
    The list goes on.

  2. @PHenry: You don’t have to eradicate ALL the mosquitoes, just the female ones
    that bite animals for their blood.

    Oh, wait —

  3. Bring DDT back and kill the damned mosquitoes! PHenry is right – the environmentalists have been the perps of millions of malaria deaths over the years. Entomologist J. Gordon Edwards ate a tablesppon of DDT every day over a period of many years and never showed any toxic effects. It has been determined that in 1959, 60,000 tons of DDT was sprayed into 100 million homes to combat mosquitoes, and the 100,000 workmen spraying the stuff and the 535,000,000 people in those homes NEVER showed any ill effects. The “thin bird egg shell” hoax attributed to a DDT study was actually due to feeding the study birds diets DEFICIENT in calcium and phosphorus which caused the bad egg shells, NOT DDT. It was contrived bullshit science much like “climate change”.

  4. Wife: What are you doing?
    Hubby: Killing mosquitoes.
    Wife: Did you kill any?
    Hubby: Yup. Five. Three females and two Males.
    Wife: How could you tell the difference?
    Hubby: I nailed three on the phone and two on my beer can.
    Yes. The banning of DDT killed thousand of Africans. But the do-gooders meant well!

  5. I don’t believe that there would be a need for bringing back DDT if this genetic fix works.

    I agree with the above posters about the mistake of banning it, but that is the past.

    Genetic modification, if it works, is better because mosquitos (which I personally detest!) do serve as a piece of the food chain for other creatures.

  6. Referring to DDT, wish I could get some.
    May that ignorant opportunist and mother of the EPA, Rachel Carson forever burn in hell for her misleading book Silent Spring.
    She awaits the arrival of Algore in the lowest level of hell.
    Most problems with any pesticide is its application, liberal application in a flood zone or in an estuary is a huge problem easily corrected. Instead of studying why and making corrections, typical Prog knee jerk reaction “Ban it!”.

  7. ….responsible for millions of preventable deaths?…. I know!.. outlaw the buggers.

    “Speaking the truth in times of universal deceit is a revolutionary act.” Geo. Orwell

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