Detailed genome map of malaria vector

• Scientists have unveiled the detailed genome of the malaria mosquito vector, revealing thousands of new genes vital for the development of genetic control strategies of disease transmission.

About:

• In order to engineer advanced forms of defence against malaria transmission, including targeted CRISPR and gene drive–based strategies, scientists require intricate knowledge of the genomes of vector mosquitoes.

• CRISPR technology is a gene-editing tool which allows researchers to easily alter DNA sequences and modify gene function.

• They produced a new reference genome for the Asian malaria vector mosquito Anopheles stephensi.

• With the newly upgraded Anopheles stephensi genome, the team unearthed more than 3,000 genes that previously evaded scrutiny and which offer fresh gene-drive targets, play key roles in blood feeding and the metabolism of ingested blood meal, reproduction and immunity against microbial parasites.

• This reference genome should help malaria biologists in India, particularly in view of the national goal of malaria elimination in India by 2030.

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Mains Paper 3: Science and Tech

Prelims level: Anopheles stephensi genome

Mains level: Read the newsfeed

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