The release of thousands of genetically modified mosquito swarms began in Florida, US, this week as part of efforts to control the summer-spreading insects. The New York Post reported that the new project, from the British biotech company Oxytec, aims to limit the spread of mosquitoes that can spread many diseases.
The project aims to genetically modify male mosquitoes while remaining unmodified females, because they will automatically die after the insemination process. The so-called death mechanism then works to prevent any of the offspring of the female carriers from surviving. The mosquitoes cannot survive after the vaccination operations, and therefore their population will be controlled in the coming months.
The modified mosquitoes will be placed in six locations in Florida, with about 12,000 expected to appear each week over the next 12 weeks, according to Sputnik.