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Scientists use gene drive to eradicate lab mosquitoes for the first time

For the first time, scientists have used a gene drive — a genetic mutation that can be used, over time, to wipe out a population — to eradicate mosquitoes in…

For the first time, scientists have used a gene drive to destroy a population of mosquitoes in a laboratory.

Genetic engineers at Imperial College London deployed the technique over the past two years, introducing a genetic mutation that spread through the population and eventually sterilized all of the mosquitoes. The group published the results of their work Monday in Nature Biotechnology.

Their success is a huge step in the effort to reduce the spread of malaria. Before now, scientists had struggled to create gene drives that successfully spread through a population of mosquitoes and stopped them from reproducing.

“With this achievement, the major barriers to saving

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