- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Size matters for mosquitoes but medium-sized males do better
Last year, I blogged about an ironic public health strategy – controlling malaria with mosquitoes. The mozzies in question are genetically engineered to be resistant to the malaria parasite, Plasmodium. The idea is that these GM-mosquitoes would mate with wild ones and spread their resistance genes through the natural population.
The approach seems promising but it relies crucially on the ability of the resistant males to successfully compete for the attentions of females in wild populations. The 1960s and 1970s witnessed several failed attempts to control malaria by swamping natural populations with sterile males released en masse. And while these letdowns had been blamed on ignorance about mosquito mating, this area of research has gone untouched until now.
A new study,