Friday, April 12, 2024

Why the United States will release 2 billion genetically modified mosquitoes

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Maria Gill
Maria Gill
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Two billion genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in parts of Florida and California in the USA. The mosquito is responsible for about 750,000 deaths annually, and is the most deadly species to humans.

It is the release of mosquitoes on an unprecedented scale, led by the American company Oxitec, and aims to reduce the population of these insects, and thus reduce their spread. The spread of certain diseases.

Specimens sent to the wild will be male Aedes aegypti, carefully selected because after breeding they give birth to non-viable larvae.

Genetically modified mosquitoes

Mosquitoes are very harmful Causing serious diseases Such as malaria, dengue fever, Zika virus and chikungunya. So scientists had the idea of ​​genetically modifying it.

This genetically modified mosquito is called OX5034, and it is harmless to humans. Larvae born from mating with protein-deficient females die before they are mature.

750 million of these hybrid mosquitoes They are already released In Nature Last Year by Oxitec.

According to the scientists, such a release of mosquitoes would be safe for the environment, and less harmful to the planet than the use of pesticides.

In fact, the usual predators of mosquitoes (birds and bats) can feed on them, and species threatened by insecticides, like beesnot affected.

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