Microsoft founder Bill Gates is pouring $4 million into a project to create killer mosquitoes that destroy each other through sex.
It’s a bold bid to curb malaria, a deadly disease typically transmitted through the bite of infected mosquitoes.
Gates will use funds from his own charity organization the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to eradicate malaria “within a generation.”
The plan is to create genetically-modified male mosquitoes that mate with their female counterparts in the wild.
Only female mosquitoes bite so Gates’ army of gene-engineered male mosquitoes would be safe to humans.
What’s important is that these male mosquitoes contain a self-limiting gene that gets passed onto female mates.
When the females give birth, their offspring will die before adulthood thanks to the gene.
Mosquitoes only start biting people once they’re adults, so given enough time, the danger of blood-sucking female mosquitoes could be eradicated.
This means it would be possible to stem the spread of malaria through mosquito bites.
They’re developed by a UK company called Oxitec, which has dubbed the creations “Friendly Mosquitos” although their female mates may disagree.
Oxitec has already created gene-engineered mosquitoes to deal with the Zika virus.
In some areas, the wild populations of Aedes aegypti (the mosquito that carries Zika) have been reduced by 90 percent.