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Sunday 27th May 2018

GM mosquitoes to fight dengue

28th March 2007

Genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes could be a powerful tool against dengue fever, because their young die early in development.

Researchers have genetically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, which spread dengue and yellow fever, giving them genes which cause their young to die early, and thereby reducing mosquito populations.

Published on March 20 in the journal BMC Biology, the results indicated that by spreading the lethal genes, which ensure that offspring die before causing harm, GM mosquitoes could effectively reduce the wild mosquito population — and thus transmission of the dengue virus — in areas where the disease is prevalent.

Experts said the technology could be extended to fight other species of mosquito too, which transmit other kinds of disease.

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