GMO mosquitoes: Could genetic engineering protect us from the deadliest animal on the planet?

From CBSN Originals
March 11, 2019

To some people, the only good mosquito is a dead mosquito. And not just because they can ruin your backyard barbecue.

Mosquitoes have been called the deadliest animals on the planet, transmitting dangerous diseases like malaria, yellow fever and dengue. Millions of peopleworldwide die each year from mosquito-borne diseases, including half a millionfrom malaria alone.

In the last few years, Zika virus has emerged as the latest health threat carried by mosquitoes. Zika is transmitted by the Aedes aegypti mosquito — and more than half the world’s population lives in areas where the species thrives.

But what if we had the technology to eliminate the threat by tweaking the biology of the mosquitoes themselves? Would it be a safer, more effective solution than fumigation or other traditional mosquito control methods? A British company called Oxitec is betting that it will.

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