|We often think of mosquitoes when we hear about malaria. Bill Gates drew attention to this by setting a jar of mosquitoes free into the auditorium at a recent Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED) conference.|
But mosquitoes are simply carriers for the disease: they become infected by one human and then transmit the parasite to another.
Of the thousands of species of mosquitoes in the world, only a few dozen, those belonging to the Anopheles genus, can transmit malaria. Anopheles mosquitoes live around the world -- everywhere but Antarctica -- but the ones most skilled at transmitting malaria are Anopheles mosquitoes in Africa. Most scientists believe that's because we evolved in Africa, along with mosquitoes and the malaria parasite.
The Anopheles mosquito has a number of characteristics that make it perfectly suited for transmitting malaria. In this story, reporter Cynthia Graber presents the story of the Anopheles mosquito, played by George Dimopoulos, researcher at theJohns Hopkins University Malaria Research Institute.