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Mosquitoes Genetically Modified To Crash Species That Spreads Malaria

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Lab squashed malaria mosquitoes

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species.

The scientists used the revolutionary gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to engineer mosquitoes with a "gene drive," which rapidly transmitted a sterilizing mutation through other members of the mosquito's species.

After mosquitoes carrying the mutation were released into cages filled with unmodified mosquitoes in a high-security basement laboratory in London, virtually all of the insects were wiped out, according to a report in Nature Biotechnology.

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