Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes may soon be buzzing in Florida and California. Here’s why.

R. W. Miller,  USA Today,  2022.

Millions of genetically altered mosquitoes that seek to ward off their natural, disease-causing counterparts may soon be released in Florida and California after the Environmental Protection Agency approved a plan to further test the modified insects. Developed by the biotechnology company Oxitec, the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are genetically modified so that males, which do not bite, are released into the wild and mate with females, which do bite. Their offspring are either male or females that never survive to reach maturity, the company says. Millions of the mosquitoes were released in the Florida Keys in a pilot project last year, and the EPA has authorized the extension of the project in Florida as well as the expansion into four counties in California, pending approval from the states’ regulators.

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