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Cas9, A Gene Altering Technique to Reduce Malaria:

  • Uncategorized
  • Jul 09, 2021

There is a new strategy to eliminate malaria. Malaria is a common disease which brings a lot of destruction with it in form of human suffering and deterioration of health economy among other factors. The treatment of malaria is not that costly but when person comes to a certain stage of urgency then to recover from the disease is not easy. So it is been concluded that there are two ways of countering this problem, first,  we should get a good treatment and the second is gene alteration or gene mutation in mosquitoes to reduce the chances of catching malaria.  Genetically modifying mosquitoes to highly express antimalarial genes and then passing them to off springs is considered as brand new strategy to completely eliminate malaria. Though, malaria can’t be eliminated completely but at least we can try as it affects a large number of people which in turn leads to increasing mortality rates. Alteration of genes proved out to be a great process in the treatment of any hazardous disease.

This study is a latest series towards a great step to entirely curb malaria. Many institutes and research centers are employing different tools and technology to do the alteration. In this study, CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology is used to make changes in the mosquito’s genes that can reduce the spread of malaria. Remember, we cannot completely make it disappear but at least, there is a potential to eradicate this disease for a specific time period.

Growing mosquito resistance to pesticides, as well as malaria parasite resistance to antimalarial drugs, has created an urgent need for new ways to fight the disease. Gene drives are being tested as a new approach. They work by creating genetically modified mosquitoes that, when released into the environment, would spread genes that either reduce mosquito populations or make the insects less likely to spread the malaria parasite. But scientists must prove that this approach is safe and effective before releasing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild. Gene drives are promising tools for malaria control, says first author Astrid Hoermann, Research Associate at Imperial College London, UK. They we wanted a clear pathway for safely testing such tools in countries where the disease most commonly occurs.