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750 million of the first genetically modified mosquitoes to be released in Florida

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The first indicators of summer season are shortly overshadowed as soon as mosquitoes return in many components of the United States. But a brand new experiment in Florida would possibly spell the finish for the blood-thirsty suckers. 

Mosquito lovers (should you exist), don’t fear, the species isn’t going to disappear fully. Instead, the male Aedes aegypti has been modified to solely create dwell male offspring, which do not chew, when mating in the wild with feminine mosquitoes, which do chew. 


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The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District approved Oxitec’s proposal to launch 750 million of these mosquitoes into the wild below an experimental use allow, focusing on the invasive species that may carry dengue, yellow fever, Zika and chikungunya and is already creating a tolerance for a lot of pesticides. 

The challenge, which has been accredited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Florida Department of Health, targets the carriers after an outbreak of dengue fever hit the area final summer season. Small, targeted initiatives will start this month in a choose quantity of neighborhoods between mile markers 10 and 93 in the Florida Keys, the place residents are being asked to host mosquito launch packing containers or mosquito traps. 


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“We’re looking forward to working hand-in-hand with the Keys community to demonstrate the effectiveness of our safe, sustainable technology in light of the growing challenges controlling this disease-spreading mosquito,” mentioned Grey Frandsen, CEO of Oxitec, in a release last August

But not all residents are on board. In February, about two dozen protesters demonstrated in opposition to the genetically-modified bugs, reported the Miami Herald, and questioned the firm’s success. 

Last yr, related mosquitoes had been released in Indaiatuba, Brazil, as half of public health efforts in opposition to dengue and suppressed up to 95 % of disease-carrying Aedes aegypti, according to the company. But emails obtained by an activist group reportedly found that a lot of one authorities paper reporting a 62 % suppression charge was written by Oxitec. 


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