Mosquitos, despite being small, are causing a huge number of diseases across the world. They are also being the major carriers to problems like malaria and dengue fever. A recent research has, however, found a way to eliminate mosquitos from their environment. According to this research, mosquitos can be eliminated via a method known as gene drive. It should be noted that Gene Drive is one of the many areas that the genetic engineering section is focusing on. Gene Drive works by making changes to the DNA of an organism so that their reproduction can be limited, controlled or stopped, as in this case.
This movement is considered a great progress in the attempt to fight diseases like malaria. By removing the whole mosquito population from the equation, it will be possible to control how dengue and malaria spread across a particular area. The best part is that the research team has succeeded in using gene drive to do the same. In this case, gene editing was done to control the gender of the mosquitos that are produced. When the researchers managed to reproduce only male mosquitos for a few generations, there was a noticeable decrease in the number of mosquitos.
The research findings were published in a reputed journal named Nature Biotechnology and the findings are quite relieving for people who were looking for an effective way to control Malaria. The gene drive has been quite successful in the labs, as the end-result would lead to the extinction of mosquitos, since they are not able to reproduce. However, this move comes with some catches. The primary problem is that the exclusion of mosquitos would lead to several repercussions in the food chain and the whole ecology. Since there are many animals that depend on mosquitos for food, the extinction of mosquitos can make changes there also.