Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Fight Malaria

 

American scientists claim they have succeeded in creating mosquitoes that can fight off malaria. The scientists have inserted a new gene into the DNA of mosquitoes that could prevent them from spreading the infection to humans. Mosquitoes bite people and infect human blood with malaria.

Over 3 billion people, about 40% of the world's population, are in danger of becoming infected with malaria. The disease kills over half a million people every year.  Over 80% of all deaths occur in Africa.

Scientists have been working hard to find ways of stopping the spread of malaria. Genetically modified mosquitoes would be able to resist the disease and stop it from spreading to humans. The new mosquitoes could be released in a tropical region, from where they could could spread to almost 99% of the whole mosquito population within a year .

Although such a new insect would not completely erase malaria from the face of the earth it could help lower the risk of getting infected. Together with new effective medicine malaria infections could be reduced substantially.

 

In other experiments, scientists have been trying to make mosquitoes infertile. As a result, they would ultimately die out . Environmentalists , however, warn that such a measure could have an undesired impact on the environment.

 

Mosquitoes

Mosquito

 

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Words

  • although = while
  • billion = a thousand million
  • DNA = substance that carries the genetic information in cells
  • effective = something that works well
  • environment = the world around us
  • environmentalist = person who is worried about nature
  • erase = remove completely
  • face of the earth = here: surface
  • gene = part of a cell in a living thing that controls how it looks and grows
  • genetically modified = to change a plant, animal or insect so that it becomes stronger
  • measure = act
  • malaria = disease that you get in a tropical country when a mosquito bites you
  • impact = effect, result
  • infertile = not being able to produce young mosquitoes
  • insert = put into
  • lower = reduce
  • occur = happen, take place
  • prevent = stop
  • reduce = lower
  • release = set free
  • resist = here: not be affected by the disease
  • scientist = a person who works in a lab and is trained in science
  • spread = move from one place to another
  • substantially = very much, a lot
  • succeed = here: to make something work
  • undesired = not wanted
  • ultimately = in the end