‘Death gene’ in genetically modified male mosquitoes

J. Goddard,  The Times,  2021.

Tens of thousands of bio-engineered mosquitoes have taken flight in the Florida Keys under a pilot project that aims to breed insects programmed with a “death switch”. Genetically modified males produced by Oxitec — a British-founded biotechnology company — have begun mating with local populations of invasive Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, whose female progeny are programmed to die before they mature, wiping out a generation of potential disease-carriers. “Mosquito-borne disease is a very real issue and conventional controls are losing their effectiveness,” said Dr Nathan Rose, head of regulatory affairs at Oxitec in Milton Park, Oxfordshire.

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