Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Mosquitos to the Rescue

Image result for mosquito

A recent press release announced that there may be a solution to malaria and the spread of the disease. The most interesting part about the solution, is that it is utilizing the insect that is to blame, the mosquito. About 300 to 500 million people are diagnosed with malaria every year. This disease causes flu-like symptoms and if left untreated may cause severe complications and death. It is very prevalent in South Africa. 

A paper was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Crispr is the gene editing method that was used in this study. It gives scientists the ability to remove DNA elements to replace or insert new genes in a cell's nucleus. The paper described the method in which DNA was inserted into the mosquito eggs. The DNA changed the antibodies of the mosquito to cause them to attack the parasite that causes malaria. With this change, the offspring will no longer be carriers of malaria, and therefore will aid in prevention of malaria.There is a lot of work to still be done to prove that this will be effective in eliminating malaria for good. I think that this would serve a great purpose, especially to the areas such as South Africa. I also find it very interesting that their method is going to be changing the offspring DNA. 

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