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Annual Review Of Biochemistry Template
  • Alex
Alex
Duke University
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Abstract

Malaria  continues to impose enormous health and economic burdens in the developing  world. Some experts have suggested the use of gene drives to eradicate malaria,  a disease caused by a Plasmodium parasite and transmitted by Anopheles  mosquitoes. Several CRISPR-based gene drives have been developed and tested in  contained mosquito populations, with great optimism in its effectiveness. However, recent developments  have shown that there are more roadblocks and that there are natural mechanisms  that get in the way of the theoretical ideas. Model organisms such as  fruit fly and different types of mosquitoes, who have very well studied  phenotypes, were used to see if gene drive will work. The results found showed  that natural variation stops gene drive from working and any mechanism that  increases fitness got selected for. Contrary to beliefs held only a year ago,  the recent outcomes have shown that a real-life application of gene drives is  many years away. Although some research groups have moved on to mammal models,  the current roadblocks to gene drive technology show that we need to spend more  time on more simple models such as fruit fly and yeast, since they are better  understood.