How To Solve Mosquito Problem
As a result, scientists from Johns Hopkins University have investigated a way to make mosquitos — as opposed to people — resistant to the malaria parasite.
Using CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, they have engineered malaria-resistant mosquitos by deleting a gene which helps malaria survive in the mosquito’s gut.
Except that, as it turns out, it might be a smart move.
Developed by the Kentucky-based biotech company Mosquito Mate, the project uses male mosquitoes (which are the non-biting ones) as vehicles for carrying a potent mosquito insecticide. Environmental Protection Agency officially signed off on the plan last year, and numerous field tests have already been carried out.
When caught up in updrafts that direct them into winds high above the ground, mosquitoes can be carried great distances. Smaller species found around houses commonly weigh about 2.5 milligrams. In order to obtain energy, both male and female mosquitoes feed upon plant nectars - much in the same manner as honeybees. Mosquitoes fill a variety of niches which nature provides.
The experts have concluded that the insects are not capable of such transmission.
In preliminary trials, the researchers have demonstrated that the malaria parasite is unable to survive long enough to mature to the point that it becomes dangerous to humans.
Mosquitoes may be capable of transmitting deadly viruses, but they’re still tiny, delicate insects.
• How do mosquito control districts control mosquitoes? • How do mosquito districts avoid spraying chemically-sensitive persons?
These are called "bridge vectors" because they serve as a conduit for the virus to travel from its reservoir in birds to its final host in humans or other mammals.