Malaria is a parasitic disease, mainly transported into humans by over 30 species of mosquitoes. In 2019, 229 million people were infected with malaria and 409 thousand died. There are many antimalarial drugs on the market that can build up your immunity or fight the parasite itself. Children under 5 pose the greatest risk of dying to malaria, as 67% (274,000 deaths in 2019) of malaria deaths happen to them. Malaria has killed roughly 4-5% of anyone who has ever lived, making malaria one of the deadliest diseases ever.
Recently researchers from the Imperial College of London published a journal about their findings on genetically editing Anopheles gambiae mosquitoes' genes to inhibit the development of the malaria parasite within them. The researchers were able to make healthy mosquitoes that couldn't infect others with malaria. They then bred the mosquitoes and their spawn also were healthy without the malaria parasite developing within them. The researchers are currently looking to test the gene edited mosquitoes in the field as a way to prevent malaria, but that may be a long ways away. I think if we can conclude there are no dangers to the environment, mosquitoes or the people getting bit, this could be the end of malaria, and prevent millions of more deaths to malaria.
Truly a major breakthrough! Especially in regions where modern medicine is harder to obtain this could make a world of a difference.ReplyDelete
This is great for societies that don't have modern medicine to help treat malaria. This is great to see it done in mosiquitos and it would be interesting to see it done in other organisms that transmit diseases.ReplyDelete