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Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Funds UK Group To Develop Friendly Mosquitoes To Wipeout Malaria In Africa

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Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation Funds UK Group To Develop Friendly Mosquitoes To Wipeout Malaria In Africa

Bill and Melinda Gates

The calamitous reign of Malaria in Africa may be nearing its ending as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has donated $4 million through its malaria program to UK based group Oxitec to develop “Friendly Mosquito”, a male insect that will mate with a female, only for the resulting offspring to die before they reach adulthood. Only female offspring will die, since only female mosquitoes bite. The male offspring will survive and continue to spread the “self-limiting gene,” said Oxitec chief executive Grey Frandsen.

It is believed that the Bio-engineered mosquitoes could be the key to wiping out the malaria virus, which kills around 830,000 people every year.

The Director of Malaria Program at the foundation, Philip Welkhoff, said vector control had played a critical role in reducing deaths due to malaria in the past 15 years. “With further progress stalled at present, continued innovation of new and transformational interventions is critical to realizing the goal of a world free of malaria.”

He noted further that Oxitec’s work will complement the foundation’s investments in self-sustaining genetically-modified mosquitoes for potential use in Africa.”

Oxitec chief executive Grey Frandsen said the donation from Bill and Melinda Gates has allowed his company to “enter the fight against malaria.”

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