Sometime in the future, SA’s fight against malaria might involve the unusual sight of a fleet of drones carrying swarms of male mosquitoes. Sterile due to a blast of sperm-damaging radiation that has no effect on humans or the environment, they will be released above a malaria hotspot. These mosquitoes could also be sent to other countries as the latest weapon in the fight against malaria. The sterile-insect technique has been used successfully in agriculture and will help reduce the need for spraying insecticides to ward off mosquitoes. The sterile males mate with females but produce no offspring, so the number of malaria mosquitoes decline in the areas in which they are released. Unlike female mosquitoes, the males do not drink blood, preferring to live off nectar and rotting plant material. The Department of Science and Technology and Nuclear Technologies in Medicine’s Biosciences Initiative at the Nuclear Energy Corporation of SA have been working on this project. But getting th...

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