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Microsporidia cause diarrhea, an illness called microsporidiosis and even death in immune-compromised individuals.
In spite of those widespread medical problems, scientists were uncertain about how these single-celled fungi reproduced in human or animal cells.
But in a study that employed transparent roundworms, biologists at the University of California San Diego succeeded in directly observing how these microorganisms replicate and spread. And what they saw surprised them.
Using a groundbreaking gene editing technique, biologists at UC San Diego, working in collaboration with biologists at UC Irvine, have created a strain of mosquitoes capable of rapidly introducing malaria-blocking genes into a mosquito population through its progeny, ultimately eliminating the insects' ability to transmit the disease to humans.