The government of Burkina Faso has given scientists permission to release 10,000 genetically engineered mosquitoes into the wilds near a town called Bana. It is one of three African countries working with Target Malaria and international teams of scientists to set the groundwork to eventually release "gene-drive" mosquitoes, which contain a mutation that should reduce the mosquito population. These biohacked mozzies are a bold step in the sub-Saharan battle against malaria. Malaria is one of the biggest killers on the continent. The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation’s Global Burden of Disease study states that in sub-Saharan Africa malaria is responsible for 19% of child deaths. Children under five make up a staggering 72% of the 719,551 deaths attributed to the disease globally in 2016. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 438,000 people died due to malaria in 2015; but the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation puts its estimate at 720,000. It is numbers...

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