A ‘bio-safe’ way to fight mosquitoes

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Mosquito Birth Control:UPSC IAS Exam

Recently,Scientists in the United States had taken a major step toward developing a “mosquito birth control” drug to curb the spread of malaria and other killer diseases blamed for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year.

Key Facts:

  • Researchers have discovered a protein unique to female mosquitoes which is critical for their young to hatch.
  • When the scientists blocked the protein, the females laid eggs with defective shells causing the embryos inside to die.
  • This method has much better chances of being bio-safe.
  • Once they knock down this protein, the mosquito no longer makes viable eggs even after multiple blood feedings so … birth control is a great way to describe it.

Threats:

  • Mosquitoes are one of the world’s deadliest insects, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) which has warned that global progress against malaria is stalling.
  • The disease infected around 216 million people in 2016, killing 445,000 of them, predominantly babies and young children in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Other diseases spread by mosquitoes include Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, West Nile virus and dengue, which has risen 30-fold in recent decades, according to the WHO.

Source:The Hindu

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