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Using new gene drive to create malaria-resistant mosquitoes

California researchers hatched some malaria-resistant mosquitoes and then gave evolution a shove — using a groundbreaking technology to ensure the insects pass on that protective gene as they reproduce, with implications far beyond the promise of fighting malaria.

The experiment reported Monday involves what's called a "gene drive," a technique that, if it pans out, promises to alter the genetics of populations of insects and certain plants and animals faster than Mother Nature could.

Normally, genes have a 50-50 chance of being inherited. University of California researchers created a strain of mosquitoes that could pass a specially engineered...