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2 Billion Genetically Modified Mosquitos Are About to Be Released in the US


Scientists have been playing god with mosquitos for a couple of years now. Back in 2021, British company Oxitech released 750 million lab-modified mosquitos in Florida. Now, the company is gearing up to release another 2 billion genetically modified mosquitos across more of Florida and in California as well.

The new species, codenames OX5034, is made up entirely of male mosquitos. The new species is derived from the Aeses aegypti family of mosquitos. Just like others the company has released, this new 2 billion should produce female larvae that die off before they reach adulthood.

With the success of last year’s Florida release, the U.S. Environment Protection Agency (EPA) has approved Oxitech for additional releases in the Florida Keys. The EPA has also approved a new program with the Delta Mosquito and Vector Control District in California. Furthermore, Oxitech says that it is reaching out to other state regulators to get programs running in more states, too.

Female mosquitos are the only mosquitos that bite and are attracted to human blood. Because the new genetically modified mosquitos are all male, the genetic modifications shouldn’t pose any danger to people that encounter them.

Oxitech also says the modifications will carry on through other male larvae. This should help the mosquito population lessen over multiple generations.

Authored by Joshua Hawkins via Yahoo News

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