News Column

Brazil to Fight Dengue with GM Mosquitos

July 24, 2014

Brazil is going to raise a swarm of genetically modified mosquitos to fight dengue, an acute tropical disease that affects over 50 million people every year, the New Scientist magazine reports.

According to New Scientist, a UK-based biotech company Oxitec plans to open a factory in Campinas to raise millions of GM blood-suckers and release them into the wild to mate with females, whose offspring will die before reaching adulthood.

Oxitec hopes this will help cut the numbers of dengue-carrying insects. There is no vaccine to prevent dengue, also called breakbone fever, meaning all you can do is spray insecticides on a large area of land to kill as many mosquitos as possible.

The UK mosquito-breeding company plans to release its swarm in the town of Jacobina in Bahia, a Brazilian state that is one of the most affected areas in the country.

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Source: Yerepouni Daily News (Armenia)

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