The bold plan to end malaria with a gene drive

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  • Published on:  Thursday, May 31, 2018
  • How genetically engineered mosquitoes might defeat a disease that kills millions of children.



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    The invention of the CRISPR gene editing tool has injected new life into a line of research called gene drive. Gene drives use selfish genetic elements to spread a modification through a wild population.

    Researchers have proposed using gene drives against agricultural pests and invasive species, but the most urgent application is against vector-borne diseases like malaria, which kills hundreds of thousands of people every year, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa.

    We talked to the scientists working on this revolutionary approach to disease eradication to find out how it works and how long it might take to deploy a technology like a gene drive against malaria.

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  • Vox  (May 31, 2018)

    To learn more, read Dylan's article here: http://bit.ly/2J78xwE. And check out our Netflix show! Explained: http://bit.ly/2sjJv6K- joss

  • Will Templeton  (Aug 6, 2018)

    RealName I searched the Gates Foundation grantees and did not find Vox among them. Care to share the source of your knowledge?

  • ThisIsMyRealName  (Aug 6, 2018)

    NOTE the Gates Foundation funds Vox for about $1,000,000/year. While I love most Vox videos, anything about Bill Gates or his interests (e.g. his personality, charter schools, his mosquito and agriculture bioengineering experimentation in Africa, etc) lacks Vox's (otherwise decent) journalistic integrity (though it's definitely still less corrupt than MSNBC / CNN / FOX).

  • Curiosity Culture  (May 31, 2018)

    Vox videos always has a way to explain something in such a beautiful way.

  • KamiltheCamel  (Jun 7, 2018)

    C leaf because talking about curing Malaria ia radical leftist. If it is, then sign me up to be a radical leftist since apparently they are the people who want to save lives.

  • C Leaf  (Jun 7, 2018)

    Harshil Patel ie liberalism and radical leftist views

  • Salokin  (May 31, 2018)

    Malaria has wiped out millions and ended whole empires, ending this disease would be incredible!

  • TRIPLE AAA  (Oct 31, 2018)

    Jon AB would do Africa good to have more livestock lol, pretty sure that a lot of the areas in the country do suffer from famine and starvation...

  • Drew Davis  (Aug 22, 2018)

    its actually killed over 50bn humans, half of all humans ever

  • thoyo  (May 31, 2018)

    I'm all for this, but we have to be keenly cognizant of unintended consequences. Recently, the rise of super resistant bugs due to overuse of antibiotics and antibacterials comes to mind.

  • Danny Perski  (Aug 29, 2018)

    The world needs insects, but I'm not convinced we need mosquitoes.

  • GERALD710  (Jun 25, 2018)

    A. You haven't been to East Africa if you think Tsetse and Fruit flies do not occupy the same niche.The extinction of the Tsetse in much of Western Kenya through mass sterilization of male tsetse flies has had no impact on the predators that used to consume them as other fly species like the fruit fly(it exists in East Africa and is a threat to the coffee industry there)exist.Again with the generalizations!!We are talking of elimination 100 SPECIES OF MOSQUITO!!!!NOT ALL SPECIES OF MOSQUITO!!!THERE A...

  • Aspect Science  (May 31, 2018)

    *The real question is who do you call when mosquitoes attack...*The SWAT team!

  • Aspect Science  (Jun 5, 2018)

    Chronically Curious, wow, thanks for sharing that story. I'm really sorry you and your family and friends have had to go through such a hard situation. I know the feeling of a close person leaving the world too soon because of that awful disease. I'm really glad our little YouTube comment had such a positive impact.For that, we'll keep on making dumb jokes in smart videos, because hey, you never know who it might help?Thanks again Chronically Curious, here's to wishing you, your friends and family ...

  • Chronically Curious  (Jun 4, 2018)

    Thanks for this, lol! I'm having a rough day, and my dad just had to visit a friend who's about to die from cancer who had their pain control shut off, so it's been pretty rough. I told him the joke and got him to laugh before he headed off to bed. So, truly, thank you for that. You never know who you might help with a well placed joke. 😊

  • Filius Dei  (May 31, 2018)

    This is great news because as a person born in the Democratic republic of Congo, I'm one of the malaria survivors so the sooner CRISPR is brought around (& REGULATED) to remove malaria, the happier and more prosperous the future of Africa will start to become.

  • Tellthetruth  (Nov 5, 2018)

    +Filius Dei Those British scientists will never succeed in wiping out the threat of malaria in Africa. Malaria is a natural barrier to protect the continent from certain types of people. One day Africa will be inhabited exclusively by Africans and nature not weapons will accomplish it.

  • Lol, Malaria survivor? 😂😂😂

  • Van Hendrix  (May 31, 2018)

    How about genetically modified people

  • Azure Wing  (Jan 26, 2019)

    Doo-doo-doo-duh-doo-doo, DUH

  • Steven Weech  (Jun 10, 2018)

    Lol nature actually did that but she also gave us sickle cell anaemia just so you don't brag about it She's a cruel one but fair

  • Chribit  (May 31, 2018)

    "without permanently altering nature"The problem being? Humans are just as much part of nature like anything else, we shouldn't forget that. Nature isn't something that needs to remain the way it is. We're now entering a time in which we can take evolution in our own hands, shape reality in a more beneficial way for everyone. Up until now, evolution has worked with mistakes, random mutations that got singled out by natural selection. Not every such mistake brought up by nature is beneficial ...

  • OWO ItsADeadMeme  (Jun 11, 2018)

    Suedocode there is a very big reason that it can't: intellligent design isn't nature. Nature made things the way they were when people evolved, intelligent design is what is destroying the environment as of now. Nature created life and people, intelligent design (unless changed) will desroy life and be the destruction of the human race. Don't tamper with nature.

  • Chad Noneo  (Jun 1, 2018)

    Well you forget that people often don't stop trying. Why would you have 1 child if you can have 3 and maybe 2 will live? There is more population because people are breeding expecting heavily losses of life.

  • I like Nothing  (May 31, 2018)

    We're firstly making bacteria able to produce insulin, and now mosquitoes that are able to fight malaria, CRISPR is really going to change the world

  • Randriax  (Sep 21, 2018)

    CRISPR Cas9 more specifically, was discrovered by Emmanuelle Charpentier a French microbiologist.

  • Han Luu  (Jun 7, 2018)

    Oh, I'll be sure to read up on the discovery of Infrared. Sounds interesting!And yes, I'd be more than happy to help out a group of curious minds! I've actually just checked out your video on helicopter on Mars. I really like the presentation. Using simple, easy-to-understand language is key to presenting science to a broad population. Keep up the good work! :)

  • OMG, how cool is this video and how amazing is science! Really hope something can be done to get rid of malaria in the shortest time possible!

  • WANG DANG DOODLE  (May 31, 2018)

    Quick Fix agreed