Genetically Modified Zika-Fighting Mosquitoes Released


Mutant mosquitoes are the stuff of dystopian sci-fi. But these days, they’re very real. You may have heard that Florida is considering releasing genetically modified mosquitoes in certain areas to curb the spread of Zika. The same company that makes the modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes—a UK firm called Oxitec—is already dumping them around parts of Brazil to help stop the spread of Zika and other diseases (including dengue and chikungunya). And when I say dumping, I mean that quite literally, as in, dumped out of a moving van.

By Samantha Cole | MOTHERBOARD

These mosquitoes have been genetically modified in a lab, bred to carry genes that make their offspring infertile, wiping out a generation of potential disease-carrying hosts before they have a chance to infect humans. This is the height of human intervention in nature, and an advanced biotechnological feat.

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