Could genetically engineered mosquitoes combat the Zika virus? - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Could genetically engineered mosquitoes combat the Zika virus?

Scientists are trying to fight the Zika virus with genetically modified mosquitoes. (Source: WOIO) Scientists are trying to fight the Zika virus with genetically modified mosquitoes. (Source: WOIO)
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -

A company called Oxitec believes genetically engineered mosquitoes could fight the Zika virus.

It's waiting on approval to release millions of the mosquitoes in Florida. Its goal is to reduce the virus-carrying population by cutting down on their offspring, but the genetically modified mosquito hasn't gotten off the ground here in the United States quite yet.

"They will actually mate with wild females and the offspring will die young, so they won't live long enough to transmit the virus. That technology has been approved for use in Brazil, where Zika is a large problem now," said Dawn Wesson, an associate professor of tropical medicine at Tulane University.

Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, where more than 5,000 people -- including more than 670 pregnant woman -- have been infected by the virus. A congressman is calling for the genetically modified mosquitoes to be deployed under an emergency authorization.

“In theory, that should work very well, the modeling suggests it should work very well. In reality, it may not be as clean cut as that, when Mother Nature comes into the picture, often things act differently than we expect them to,” Wesson said.

Oxitec, the company that alters these mosquitoes, wants to conduct trials in the Florida Keys. Some residents are against the plans, but the FDA says testing genetically modified mosquitoes here in the United States is safe. Oxitec says trials in Brazil have shown the technique can wipe out up to 96 percent of the dangerous Aedes Aegypti mosquito. The company says it’s been proven that the genetically modified mosquito bite is no different than a wild mosquito bite.

Key West residents will vote on the test trials for the mosquitoes in the fall.

Follow Cleveland 19 News:  

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • FBI Director Wray says Russia continues to sow discord in US

    FBI Director Wray says Russia continues to sow discord in US

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 8:09 PM EDT2018-07-19 00:09:49 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:47 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:47:36 GMT
    (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, FBI Director Chris Wray speaks at his installation ceremony at the FBI Building in Washington. Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin’s denial of election meddling. ...(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File). FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2017, file photo, FBI Director Chris Wray speaks at his installation ceremony at the FBI Building in Washington. Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin’s denial of election meddling. ...
    FBI Director Christopher Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin's denial of election meddling.More >>
    FBI Director Christopher Wray is dismissing Russia President Vladimir Putin's denial of election meddling.More >>
  • Zuckerberg: Holocaust deniers won't be banned from Facebook

    Zuckerberg: Holocaust deniers won't be banned from Facebook

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 6:08 PM EDT2018-07-18 22:08:46 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:46 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:46:32 GMT
    Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn't believe Holocaust denial content should be banned from Facebook. (Source: CNN)Mark Zuckerberg says he doesn't believe Holocaust denial content should be banned from Facebook. (Source: CNN)

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that while he finds Holocaust denial "deeply offensive," he doesn't believe that such content should be banned from Facebook.

    More >>

    Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that while he finds Holocaust denial "deeply offensive," he doesn't believe that such content should be banned from Facebook.

    More >>
  • Sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

    Sex abuse victims join hands, accept courage award at ESPYs

    Wednesday, July 18 2018 11:20 PM EDT2018-07-19 03:20:36 GMT
    Thursday, July 19 2018 1:27 AM EDT2018-07-19 05:27:34 GMT
    (Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP) Former gymnast Sarah Klein, former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Aly Raisman, from left in front, and others who suffered sexual abuse accept the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.(Photo by Phil McCarten/Invision/AP) Former gymnast Sarah Klein, former Michigan State softball player Tiffany Thomas Lopez and gymnast Aly Raisman, from left in front, and others who suffered sexual abuse accept the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.

    The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show highlighting the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.

    More >>

    The women who spoke out against the abuse by Larry Nassar stood together Wednesday night in a powerful and solemn closing to the show highlighting the past year's top athletes and moments in sports.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly