Florida Approves Controversial Plan to Release 750 Million Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Authorities in Florida have approved a pilot project that will release 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes locally, in a bid to reduce the populations of mosquitoes that cause that cause dengue, Zika, chikungunya, and yellow fever, BBC reported.
Slated to be released in 2021, the genetically modified mosquitoes have been developed by Oxitec, a US-owned, British-based company. The female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are responsible for the transmission of infectious diseases. The strategy is to release genetically modified male mosquitoes into the environment, who will carry a protein inhibiting the survival of their female offsprings when they mate. “The male offspring will survive to become fully functional adults with the same genetic modification, providing multi-generational effectiveness that could ultimately lead to a reduction in Aedes aegypti mosquito populations in the release areas. EPA anticipates that this could be an effective tool to combat the spread of certain mosquito-borne diseases,” Oxitec said.
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