Mosquitoes Genetically Modified to Stop Disease Pass Early Test

L. Rapaport,  WebMD,  2022.

Genetically modified mosquitoes released in the U.S. appear to have passed an early test that suggests they might one day help reduce the population of insects that transmit infectious diseases. As part of the test, scientists released nearly 5 million genetically engineered male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes over the course of 7 months in the Florida Keys. Male mosquitoes don’t bite people, and these were also modified so they would transmit a gene to female offspring that causes them to die before they can reproduce. In theory, this means the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes would die off over time, so they wouldn’t spread diseases any more. The goal of this pilot project in Florida was to see if these genetically modified male mosquitoes could successfully mate with females in the wild, and to confirm whether their female offspring would indeed die before they could reproduce. On both counts, the experiment was a success, Oxitec, the biotechnology company developing these engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, said in a webinar

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