GM fungus kills 99% of mosquitoes + 15% of sepsis survivors in England die within 12m

GM fungus kills 99% of mosquitoes in Malaria-endemic region of Africa

EXCERPT: A study carried out between the IRSS research institute in Burkina Faso in West Africa and the University of Maryland in the US discovered a fungus called Metarhizium pingshaense (Mp). This fungus was found to infect Anopheles mosquitoes, the genus of mosquito that is responsible for spreading malaria. [...] The aim of the study was to advance efforts to control the spread of malaria.

[...] Researchers enhanced the pingshaense fungus, with Professor Raymond St Leger, from the University of Maryland, telling BBC News that the fungus is “very malleable” and that “you can genetically engineer them very easily.” They used a toxin found in the venom of an Australian funnel-web spider, and the genetic instructions needed to produce the toxin were added to the genetic code of the fungus. This would mean the fungus would produce the toxin itself once it was inside a mosquito. “A spider uses its fangs to pierce the skin of insects and inject toxins, we replaced the fangs of the spider with Metarhizium,” Professor St Leger explained.

[...] Importantly, this fungus did not have lethal effects on important insect species including bees. As mosquitoes are becoming immune to insecticides, malaria cases are at risk of increasing and are already affecting 10 of the worst affected countries in Africa. (MORE)

15% of sepsis survivors in England die within 12 months, analysis suggests

INTRO: Sepsis survivors are at a heightened risk of death in the years following their illness, new research shows. Of those discharged from hospital in England after a critical care admission, 15% died within 12 months, according to a study published in journal JAMA Network Open.

A further 6%-8% of those who recovered from the condition died each year over the next five years, the analysis found. The research, led by Dr Manu Shankar-Hari, from Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospital in London, included data on 94,748 patients from 192 critical care units in England. All had survived to hospital discharge following a critical care unit admission for sepsis between April 2009 and March 2014. More than two in five (44.1%) of those included in the study were not still alive by the end of March 2015.

Being older, male and having multiple health problems was found to increase the risk of death among sepsis survivors. The severity of the condition and length of hospital stay were also found to be possible risk factors. (MORE)

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