Zika virus has turned out to be deadly for almost all of South America. More than 2,500 babies have been diagnosed with it while there is a medical emergency being imposed. Many women are asked not to get pregnant or take immediate steps towards safety for better health. As the global health organizations work around a solution, which can help cure this epidemic, gene editing has some answers that can be applied.
In general, female Aedes aegypti mosquitos are the one that carry the disease, if gene editing techniques such as the Crispr-Cas9 can be applied in changing their sex, epidemics can be cured. Two US scientists have studied the potential. If successful, it may be used to cure malaria, dengue and other mosquito related infections and diseases which turn out to be deadly. Although in its initial tests, the experiments may need considerable time may be years to complete. The World Health Organization has already asked for bolder and innovative means to fight such diseases, specially Zika virus and Genetic modification can be one area that can bring in some insights. Another innovative idea is y using gene drive technology. It can help create anew generation of mosquitoes that carry malaria, which does not have the host plasmodium parasite that kills a child every minute in Africa.
Dr. Zach Adelman from the Virginia tech thinks this process of Crispr-Cas9 can help infuse a genetic modification in females, which can help turn them into having male characteristics. The gene drive technology can also be sued to kill female mosquitoes, hence reducing the overall risk of diseases. There were more than 214 million Malaria cases in Africa alone last year, such technologies and innovative breakthroughs have now become the necessity of time.