People in the science, health and technology fields have always fascinated me. And once again, I am amazed by these smarty-pants. Thanks to researchers from the University of California at Irvine and Oxford University, mankind now has a new tool in the shed to help in the age-old battle against mosquitoes. Aedes aegypti is a species of mosquito that spreads dengue fever, a flu-like disease that is endemic to over 100 countries. The report from the Proceedings from the National Academy of Science explains how the researchers genetically engineered the Aedes aegypti so that wing muscles don’t properly develop in female offspring leaving them unable to fly. When introduced into the wild these “lab” mosquitoes will mate with normal mosquitoes and produce non-flying offspring that will help diminish this disease spreading population of mosquitoes because a mosquito that can’t fly is a dead mosquito. This project was sponsored by the Gates Foundation Grand Challenges for Global Health Initiatives with hopes of eventually being able to wipe out mosquitoes that spread malaria and West Nile Virus, too.
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