Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Are Hooking Up To Save Us

in StemSocial4 months ago (edited)


In the United States, genetically modified mosquitoes made by Oxitec have matured enough to fly around and mate with female mosquitoes. This engineered strain of Aedes aegypti is meant to reduce the population of the local specie in Florida Keys.

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread the Zika and Dengue virus and the mating of the genetically modified strain with the locals will serve as pest control.

The genetically modified mosquitoes have been engineered to stop female development, that is, the genes have been modified so that it has a 'daughter killing' trait. This makes the female mosquitoes larvae not survive until adulthood. Basically, if the females die, there's no way to breed and population will be curbed.

Just as it is with natural inheritance, not all males will have this homicidal trait, half of the male offsprings will still be without the modified genes.

The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes is said to be one of the costliest invasive species in the world. In addition to Zika and Dengue which has plagued parts of America in recent times, it also transmits yellow fever which is prevalent in Africa.

Hopefully, this pest control trial works out and something similar be done for other species of mosquitoes like the female Anopheles which spreads malaria in Nigeria.