In plastic and glass containers thousands of mosquitoes are hatching in a British “mosquito factory.” On strips of brown paper there are hundreds of thousands of little black mosquito eggs.
“Here we practice birth control for mosquitoes,” says Hadyn Parry, CEO of Oxitec, a British bio-research company that makes genetically modified mosquito eggs. The eggs produce sterile male mosquitoes, incapable of fertilizing the females.
In a recent Cayman Island experiment to help fight Dengue, around 3 million male sterile mosquitoes were released over several months. As a result, a wild female has a greater chance of mating with a modified male, thereby producing self-destructing offspring.
According, to Oxitec, these releases reduced the local population of the dengue mosquito Aedes aegypti by 80%.
The practice of release GM mosquitoes into the wild is not without controversy, however.
Read more, via Mail Online.
- GeneWatch, Friends of the Earth, Third World Network: Company Conceals Evidence that Genetically Modified Mosquitoes May Have High Survival Rate in Wild
- A letter to Oxitec from Paul Reiter, MPhil, DPhil, FRES [in reference to GM mosquito survival rate]