Feeds

US team creates malaria-resistant mosquito

With fluorescent eyes, naturally

Intelligent flash storage arrays

US scientists have created a malaria-resistant, genetically-modified (GM) mosquito which they hope might displace its infectious counterpart if introduced into the wild.

According to the BBC, the transgenic Anopheles mozzie - which boasts a gene that resists infection by the Plasmodium malaria parasite - is "better able to survive than disease-carrying insects". The scientists let loose equal numbers of GM and common-or-garden mosquitos on malaria-infected mice, and after nine generations of reproduction "70 per cent of the insects belonged to the malaria-resistant strain".

Simply put, the GM insects "had a higher survival rate and laid more eggs". Dr Mauro Marrelli and his colleagues from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, explained in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: "To our knowledge, no one has previously reported a demonstration that transgenic mosquitoes can exhibit a fitness advantage over non-transgenics."

They added: "The results have important implications for implementation of malaria control by means of genetic modification of mosquitoes."

It's not quite that simple, though. Survival rates for GM and non-GM mosquitos were the same when exposed to a non-infected food source. As the BBC explains, "for resistant mosquitoes to be useful in the wild, they must survive better than non-resistant mosquitoes even when not exposed to malaria".

The John Hopkins team's mosquitos boast one additional crowd-pleasing characteristic - fluorescent eyes, courtesy of the now pretty well obligatory green fluorescent protein gene. This feature is not, however, simply to create the entomological equivalent of the glow-in-the-dark pig, but rather to allow the scientists to better identify their offspring. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
'Utter killjoy Reg hacks have NEVER BEEN LAID', writes a fan
'Shuddit, smarty pants!' Some readers reacted badly to our last Doctor Who review ...
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?
How artificial lighting could offer an artificial promise
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.