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November 24, 2015 3:01 AM EST

Researchers in California say they have genetically engineered mosquitoes that cannot be infected with the malaria parasite — and they’ve done it in a way that virtually guarantees the trait will spread quickly in a population.

They used a new technique called gene editing, one that allows for the precise placement of new DNA so that it has just the desired effects. And the particular gene editing technique they used, called CRISPR, causes the new trait to spread rapidly because it almost guarantees that the new gene will be passed along to new generations.

“This opens up the real promise…

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