Bill Gates seeks to create a gene that will limit the lives of mosquitoes
Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates has made through the foundation that shares with his wife an investment of four million dollars in a project that seeks to create mosquitoes 'killers' designed to destroy their own descendants, reports New York Post .
The plan consists of genetically modifying male mosquitoes so that they later mate in the wild with female specimens inserting a 'killer gene' into their organisms. This self-limiting gene will cause the offspring that the female has later to die before reaching adulthood, just when they begin to bite humans.
The objective of this is the fight against malaria, a disease that is transmitted through the bites of these insects. Only females of mosquitoes feed on human blood, so that the males that are released in the natulareza will not be a danger to people.
The project is being implemented by the Oxitec company, which has already developed genetically modified mosquitoes to fight the Zika virus. Thanks to these, the populations of Aedes aegypti (the mosquito that transmits this disease) have been reduced in some areas by 90%.
It is expected that the first insects with the self-limiting gene will be ready to be tested at the end of 2020.
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has widely funded work to try to eradicate malaria, a disease that kills some 440,000 people each year.