Manipulating Mosquito Sex

MosquitoScientists have been able manipulate mosquito sperm such that they produce males 95% of the time.  Females mosquitos are the ones that bite and are the carriers of malaria.

In tests with wild mosquitoes, entire populations of mosquitoes were bred to death within several generations.  This result was achieved in 80% of tests.

Even if this break through is not perfect it would save millions of lives.   It is estimated that over half a million people die from malaria every year.

An important question is what would the down stream impacts of a world without mosquitoes be? Fish eat a lot of larvae and only about 100 of 3500 species of mosquito bite humans.

This is an interesting Nature article about what would happen if we made mosquitoes extinct.

Sources:

http://phys.org/news/2014-06-scientists-malaria-carrying-mosquitoes-lab-male-only.htm

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs094/en/

https://flic.kr/p/34mrZ