Tags: Health Topics | mosquitoes | zika | zika virus | disease

Biotech Firm: Frankenstein Mosquitos Could Swat Zika Crisis

Image: Biotech Firm: Frankenstein Mosquitos Could Swat Zika Crisis
(Rex Features via AP Images)

Monday, 11 Apr 2016 01:29 PM

A British biotech firm believes the spread the Zika virus can stopped with the production of genetically modified male mosquitoes — but environmentalists say the idea could have serious consequences.

Oxitec says the modified insects would be programmed to produce offspring that die before they reach adulthood — eventually ending the growing flu-like illness that appears linked to birth defects and paralysis, The Washington Times reports.

Oxitec wants to test the plan in Key Haven, Fla., a resort community along the southern tip of the Sunshine State. But residents there worry the release of artificially created insects could harm the environment and spook tourists. They have started a petition to stop the experiment.

The Food and Drug Administration, which is mulling the biotech company's request, has said it does not appear to pose a significant threat. The agency is expected to make a decision as early as next month.

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A British biotech firm believes the spread the Zika virus can stopped with the production of genetically modified male mosquitoes - but environmentalists say the idea could have serious consequences.
mosquitoes, zika, zika virus, disease
148
2016-29-11
Monday, 11 Apr 2016 01:29 PM
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