Biotech company released 2.4 billions GM Mosquitoes in two parts of the U.S

Cristoval Victorial

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GM MosquitosPhoto byYoutube

The mosquito is surprisingly dubbed the most deadliest, most dangerous animal in the world and is also one of the smallest. Although its classified as an insect it belongs part of the animal kingdom. This tiny animal is responsible for an estimated 750,000 to one million human deaths per year. Mosquitos are known to be vectors. A vector is an animal, or an insect, that spreads viruses, harmful bacteria, and parasites to people and animals. These viruses and parasites that mosquitoes spread can make you sick or even be fatal, such as Malaria which is responsible for over half a million fatal infections every year. The danger is high as it only takes just a few infected mosquitoes to create a large outbreak in a community and infect people with various diseases.

Due to the high death rate that mosquitoes have inflicted, The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the release of 2.4 billion genetically modified mosquitoes in selected regions of California and Florida. These modified mosquitoes were created by a biotechnology company called Oxitec. The technology creates non-biting Aedes aegypti, which are common invasive types of mosquito. The males are engineered to only produce other male offspring. Oxitec states that the process will greatly reduce the number mosquitoes, as female mosquitoes are expected to die, while males will reproduce and spread the self-limiting gene to the next upcoming generation. The goal is to eventually decrease the population of all mosquitos to regulated state.

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Genetically modified mosquitoes being released in BrazilPhoto byPAULO FRIEDMAN

According to Oxitec, a study was done in a Brazilian city, were these genetically modified mosquitoes were released and the populations were suppressed by an average of 88 percent, and in some cases up to 96 percent. They compared their results to nearby untreated neighborhoods. Many have criticized this new form of altered mosquitoes engineered by Oxitec for various reasons. Some have expressed concern that the newly inserted gene does not kill as much of the offspring from the female, all the time. Lab tests have shown that roughly 3 percent of offsprings after mating survived. Other people have expressed concerns stating there is still much to be researched and tested with this new gene. Many worry that this may bring upon unearthed consequences to the environment and surrounding natural habitats.

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