Mosquitoes are more than just pesky little insects that leave an unpleasant red and itchy mark on our bodies. In fact, they are the deadliest creatures on Earth, with close to a million people who die annually due to a disease they caught from these insects.
A team of scientists from the University of Arizona have decided that rather than focusing on finding a cure for bug-induced disease such as malaria, that they were better off focusing directly on the mosquitoes themselves.
Throughout their research, they managed to find a protein that was found to be essential for the reproduction of mosquitoes. With this, they could create a drug that prevents them from even being born in the first place. It would in turn, be a form of birth control, however specially for mosquitoes, as odd as it may sound.
This could serve as a revolutionary tool that could be applied to bed nets, as well as other areas where mosquitoes are to be found. Although this is fact not the first type of research that has targeted mosquitoes, it might very well be the least risky.
Gene editing, for example has proven to be successful in wiping out mosquito population, however it can also be dangerous to the rest of the ecosystem. Since this protein exists only in mosquitoes, it wouldn’t affect any other organisms.