Florida Keys to Use Genetically Modified Mosquitoes to Fight Disease

B. Lynn,  Voice of America,  2020.

Officials in the Florida Keys plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes next year in an effort to fight insect-borne diseases.

Genetically modified means an organism’s genetic structure has been changed through genetic engineering.

The test project in the Keys, a group of islands off Florida’s southern coast, will involve the Aedes aegypti mosquito. The mosquito is not native to Florida. But it does transmit several diseases to humans, including dengue fever and the Zika virus.

In the Keys, nearly 50 cases of dengue have been reported so far this year.

The project is led by biotechnology company Oxitec. It is an American-owned company based in Britain. The plan calls for the release of millions of male, genetically modified mosquitoes to mate with females that bite humans.


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