The world is well-aware with Bill Gates’ fight against malaria and other mosquitoes-borne diseases. The entrepreneur and one of the richest men in the world keeps sharing about his plans and ideas to make this world a malaria-free place for everyone. Ahead of his lecture at Cambridge University in Boston, the entrepreneur said that he believes the disease will be ‘virtually eliminated’ by 2040 through inserting genes into mosquitoes to stop them reproducing.
Not just this, in his blogs, shared under GatesNotes, Gates keeps sharing his ideas and thoughts about the spread of malaria and how he is actively working towards putting a stop to it. Back in April this years, Gates wrote a detailed note on how he plans to eradicate malaria by interesting genes into mosquitoes that’s tops them from reproducing. He wrote, “Our foundation is backing a lot of different advances. One that I’m especially excited about is a set of techniques for genetically modifying mosquitoes that could dramatically reduce the number of disease-carrying insects in certain areas.”
He further explained about the technique, writing, “What is cool about these genetic techniques is how precise they can be. Precision matters because out of more than 3,000 species of mosquitoes, only five are responsible for causing most cases of malaria. Of those, only females spread the disease, because they’re the only ones that bite humans. The males just drink nectar.”
He explains how gene editing will eliminate only the dangerous mosquitoes in a particular area.
He wrote, “One exciting gene-editing technique is called gene drive. The term covers several different approaches, but the basic idea is to use the CRISPR method to rewrite the usual rules of inheritance. Normally, for any given gene, there’s a 50 percent chance that a parent with that gene will pass it on to a child. With gene drive, the odds go up to 100 percent. You give a few mosquitoes an edited gene that inserts—or drives—itself into all their offspring. When those mosquitoes mate with wild mosquitoes, all their children will have the edited gene, and over time it will make its way through the entire population.”