As the spread of mosquito-borne diseases has captured headlines in recent months, so too has a novel approach to mosquito control that might one day stop them: gene drive. Although it is in early development, this promising genetic technique could help end the transmission of many deadly pathogens, including malaria.
Gene drives let modifications made to a single organism spread rapidly through the entire population by making sure that targeted genes are passed on to nearly all its offspring. In theory, it would be possible to use gene drives to create mosquitoes that produce sterile offspring, vastly reducing the number that can transmit malaria or other viruses.
While vitally important, these conversations have been missing something invaluable: the perspectives of representatives from malaria-affected countries, largely in South and Central America, Africa, and southern Asia.
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