Engineering Mosquitos to Prevent Disease
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You probably agree with the saying, the bee is praised, the mosquito is swatted because they’re vectors for some nasty viruses. Mosquitos can spread Zika, dengue, West Nile, Eastern Equine Encephalitis and malaria which is a major killer around the world.

That’s why for years scientists have been developing a genetically modified or GM mosquito to reduce the numbers of those in the wild. And no, they’re not made to kill. Instead, these modified male mosquitos use “love” to get the job done. They mate with wild females and produce only male offspring that do not bite but feed on nectar instead.

In August of twenty-twenty, three quarters of a billion GM Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were released in the Florida Keys, the first field test done in the US. But they’ve actually been tested since two thousand nine. In Grand Cayman, over three million were released. They survived, mated with wild females, and after three months, the mosquito population fell by eighty percent. Field tests in Brazil were as effective and the World Health Organization supports using GM mosquitos to control the Zika virus.

Even though the Florida project has been reviewed by federal and local agencies, some Floridians don’t want GM mosquitos in their state worried this “Jurassic Park” experiment could go awry. It’s normal to be skeptical of new technologies, but this may prove to be a valuable weapon against deadly viruses that shouldn’t be allowed to get a free ride any longer.

For more information…

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