By changing one gene, scientists have bred a mosquito that does not seek out the smell of humans in preference to other animals. The team behind one of the first successful attempts to genetically engineer mosquitoes believes their work not only shows what can be done with the latest genetic techniques, but also helps us better understand the insect's attraction to humans and therefore how to block it.
Lead researcher Leslie Vosshall, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigator at The Rockefeller University in New York, says in a statement:
"The time has come now to do genetics in these important disease-vector insects. I think our new work is a great example that you can do it."