Scientists in the United Kingdom and Italy have successfully sterilized male mosquitoes in a procedure that could dramatically cut malaria deaths. The new research, which is theoretically similar to work done on irradiated mosquitoes, leaves males sterile but attractive to females. Female mosquitoes, which die after laying eggs, will still mate with the males, but lay unfertilized eggs. Past research with irradiated mosquitoes has left the insects weak and unable to mate. Scientists believe that introducing sterile mosquitoes could demolish an area's mosquito population and halt the spread of malaria, a disease that killed as many as a million people in 2008, according to the World Health Organization. But the genetically altering mosquitoes remains labor-intensive, and, if successful in the wild, could affect the food chain in unpredictable ways.
Read more at the BBC
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.