Proposed release of bacteria infected mosquitoes not as controversial as GM mosquitoes

mosquito

Every Wednesday and Friday, members of the Clovis Mosquito Abatement team pick up a box from the post office, shipped to them from a lab in Kentucky. Inside that box are 20 tubes, each containing 1,000 male mosquitoes infected with a bacterium called Wolbachia that will render the eggs of any female they mate with infertile.

Project manager Steve Mulligan says it took a little explaining to persuade residents of a neighborhood in Clovis, Calif., to allow them to dump 40,000 mosquitoes in their front yards every week.

“It is unusual,” says Mulligan. “The idea of releasing mosquitoes to control mosquitoes, that is thinking a little outside of the box.”

But in the age of Zika virus…people are open to new ideas to eliminate a species of mosquito that is responsible for millions of human deaths around the world.

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While the residents of Clovis have been open to the audacious experiment…other proposals have stoked far more controversy. A company called Oxitec engineered a mosquito in a laboratory to produce similar infertility effects to the Wolbachia infection method. But because this approach involves genetic modification as opposed to bacterial infection, Florida Keys residents formed a resistance movement to the GM mosquito…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Can Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Save The World From Zika?

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