Friday, November 30, 2012

Genetically Altered Mosquitoes: Way to Control Dengue?

Aedes aegypti mosquito (
Here is an interesting article published online in Time that outlines how genetically altered mosquitoes are being used in some parts of the world to control dengue. In a lab setting, mosquitoes are altered such that males become either infertile or carry genes that decrease longevity; the infertile males are then released into the environment and either fail to impregnate female mosquitoes or pass on genes that decrease the lifespan of the next generation of mosquitoes.

This approach was used in Malaysia in 2011 and is now being employed in Brazil. Although the long-term environmental effects of this approach are uncertain, it is clear that new technologies and approaches need to be deployed to combat dengue.

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