Research with the aim of addressing the spread of malaria has led to the creation of a poisonous fungus which can kill off the mosquitos that spread this disease. Malaria kills around 400,000 people every year.
The fungus was genetically modified by researchers from the University of Maryland to produce poison which normally is found in species of indigenous Australian spiders.
The experiments with the new fungus were held in Burkina Faso, where an environment was created which was as natural as possible, surrounded by a fence to prevent the mosquitos from getting out. After 45 days, the mosquito population went down by 99%.
The researchers said that their intention was not to make the mosquitos become extinct, but to stop the spread of malaria. He also said that the fungus does not affect other insects such as bees.
This research is being considered as extremely important as the mosquitos are becoming more resistant to pesticides, with the WHO warning that the problem of malaria is growing in the most vulnerable countries in Africa.