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Scientists sterilize mosquitos

Procedure could cut malaria deaths

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

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Filed To: News