750 Million Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Approved For Release Across Florida And Texas

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This will be the first time genetically modified mosquitoes have ever been released in America.

Authorities have approved plans for genetically modified mosquitoes to be released across the Florida Keys and Texas from next year.

British-based firm Oxitec has designed the project to test whether the altered mosquitoes are a viable alternative to pesticides to control and prevent the spread of diseases, including Zika and dengue.

The mosquitoes will also be released in Texas during 2021.

Trials in Brazil found the genetically modified mosquitoes decreased populations of disease-carrying ones. The male mosquito, called OX5034, is designed to produce female offspring which die when reaching the larval stage. A protein is passed on which kills them before they hatch and are big enough to spread disease and bite. Male mosquitoes do not need to bite for blood as they feed on nectar.