Elimination of Malaria

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By analyzing deadly diseases, only a few of them are epidemically spread, such as malaria.

In ancient times, Hippocrates attributed malaria to polluted air. In a certain period of time, the Romans sent malaria to suspend a mantra to remove the disease (evidence of its gravity at the time).

It causes malaria, a parasite that lives in the intestines of flies, and attacks humans when they are bitten by flies.

Currently, pesticides help control the fly-borne disease, and some medicines protect against malaria or prevent its symptoms from appearing. In recent years, genetic modification has emerged as a promising tool in the battle against malaria.

Two studies published in the journal Science have shown the importance of genetic engineering in eradicating malaria. Both studies were conducted at the Johns Hopkins University Malaria Research Institute.

The first study focused on the possibility of modifying the morphia vector flies to become more resistant to the transmission of the malaria parasite, making the parasite weaker and less likely to mate and reproduce.

This study, led by researcher George Dimopoulos, showed that one type of flies that modified Morcia was more capable of breeding, and more attractive to natural flies.

The researcher took a group of genetically modified flies and captured them with a group of undamaged natural flies. Surprisingly, male flies preferred genetically modified females, whereas male circumcised males preferred normal non-normal females.

Researchers say genetic modification makes their smell smarter for their partners. This preference means that within a generation 90 percent of the flies will become genetically modified.

So one day in the future, in order to reduce the incidence of malaria, we should only release genetically modified flies in nature and spread immunity against malaria parasites. Our greatest fear of a similar action is the occurrence of large-scale unexpected results.

The other study, led by Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena, used the genetic modification of the bacteria in flies to fight malaria. The researchers modified a species of Murtha bacteria that led to the secretion of a substance inside the intestines that kills the malaria parasite before it develops.

The spread of mutated bacteria occurs spontaneously to small flies generation after generation through the placement of these germs in the genitals.

The next step in both studies is to try out how well they are out of the laboratory in normal conditions.

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