Mutant mozzies v malaria?

Combating malaria by modifying mosquitoes could save thousands of lives - but it's also risky

Last year, about 440,000 people worldwide, mostly children below five years of age, died of malaria - nearly one every minute. Another 210 million people survived but suffered from one or two weeks of high fever, shaking chills and other symptoms. The toll in human suffering is immense but relatively hidden from most parts of the world because the majority of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa.

Biotech holds out the potential of progress - possibly soon. People don't give people malaria: The 460 species of mosquitoes in the genus Anopheles do, and researchers are taking aim at them.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 10, 2019, with the headline 'Mutant mozzies v malaria?'. Subscribe