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How Sex Could Wipe Out Malaria


How Sex Could Wipe Out Malaria, Scientists think they have figured out a way to wipe out mosquitoes that transmit malaria, a horrible disease that kills a million humans every year.

Based on laboratory experiments, they think they can do it by messing up the sex life of Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito that sucks blood out of other animals, including humans, that carries the parasite that causes a disease for which there is no vaccine.

It has been estimated that a child dies every 30 seconds in sub-Sahara Africa from malaria, so if the lab results also work in the real world then this could be the turning point in an effort that has frustrated medical researchers for many decades.

That’s a big “if,” but scientists at Imperial College London, who have spent years working on this problem, think they are finally on the right track.

Their “breakthrough,” as other scientists have called it, works by genetically engineering mosquitoes to produce offspring that are exclusively male at least 95 percent of the time.

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