London — Gene-editing technologies that alter mosquitoes’ DNA could prove critical in the fight against malaria, Bill Gates said on Wednesday, and ethical concerns should not block progress in such gene-modifying research. Speaking at the Malaria Forum conference in London, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist said that while gene editing raised "legitimate questions", these should not jeopardise exploration of tools such as clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) gene editing and so-called "gene-drive technologies". "I’m very energised about the potential of gene drive. [It’s] the kind of breakthrough we need to support," Gates said. "It may prove critical here." Gene-drive technologies alter DNA and drive self-sustaining genetic changes through multiple generations by over-riding normal biological processes. CRISPR technology enables scientists to find and modify or replace virtually any gene. The techniques are being explored across s...

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