A University of California team of scientists say they have bred a genetically modified (GM) mosquito that can resist malaria infection. The scientists put a new “resistance” gene into the mosquito’s own DNA, using a gene editing method called Crispr. When the GM mosquitoes mate – their offspring inherited the same resistance. In theory, if these mosquitoes bite people, they should not be able to pass on the parasite that causes malaria.
A University of California study dismisses the popular idea that Native Americans draw their genetic heritage from Polynesians or European peoples. It says the first humans to reach the Americas came from Siberia in a single group some 23,000 years ago, at the height of the last Ice Age. On their way to Alaska, they hung around in the northern regions for a few thousands of years before moving deeper into North and South America.
There is some uncertainty in the dates of the migration and the divergence between the northern and southern Amerindian populations. But as we get more ancient genomes sequenced, we will be able to put more precise dates on the times of migration.