2 Billion Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Cleared for Release in California and Florida

E. Cara,  gizmodo,  2022.

British biotech firm Oxitec announced this week that it has received approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for its genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in parts of Florida and in California, following the completion of a pilot program last year. The modified male insects are designed to produce infertile offspring, ideally reducing local populations and rates of mosquito-borne illness. The male mosquitoes developed by Oxitec—codenamed species OX5034—are derived from Aedes aegypti, a notorious carrier of many diseases, including Zika, dengue, and yellow fever. When these mosquitoes mate with the native females in an area, they’re said to produce female larvae that simply die off before reaching adulthood, thus dooming the population as a whole. And because only female mosquitoes bite and suck blood from humans, the modified insects are thought to pose no danger to people.

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