California’s first lab-grown mosquitoes may take flight—stirring controversy

L. M. Krieger,  Phys Org,  2022.

A biotech firm is seeking permission to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the open air of California for the first time later this year, aiming to reduce the expanding populations of invasive mosquitoes and prevent deadly disease. The controversial research project—planned for the Tulare County community of Visalia, with potential expansion into Fresno, San Bernadino and Stanislaus counties—will over time introduce 2 million male mosquitoes with a “kill switch” built into their DNA. When they mate with wild insects, their offspring die, causing an eventual collapse of the population. Their target: Swarms of the mosquito, first detected in Los Angeles County in 2011, which have since spread northward into 20 California counties. While California’s native mosquito emerges at dusk, these black-and-white-striped invaders hunt for blood during the day, when people are outside. Elsewhere, they transmit potentially fatal Zika, dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and other viruses.

More related to this: