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Genetic engineering

Gene-edited Mosquitoes Released to Cut Disease

The British company Oxitec released a cloud of hundreds of millions of genetically modified mosquitoes to study how to control their reproduction and thus stop the spread of dengue, Zika, malaria and other diseases.


The company is trying to stop the reproduction of Aedes aegypti , the main transmitters of these potentially fatal diseases. The males in their insect cloud have a modified gene, called OX5034, which restricts the survival of the females they mate with. Thus, mosquitoes will not grow large enough to bite humans (only females consume blood; males feed on nectar).


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