Tags: bacteria-infected | mosquitoes | zika | fresno

Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes Joining Fresno Zika Fight

Image: Bacteria-Infected Mosquitoes Joining Fresno Zika Fight

(Anton Starikov/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 06:15 AM

Bacteria-infected mosquitos – about 20 million of them – are joining Fresno, California's Zika fight through a project dreamed up by a subsidiary of Google's parent company.

Verily Life Sciences, under the arm of Alphabet Inc., created the Debug Project that will release laboratory-raised sterile male mosquitos so they can mate with Aedes aegypti mosquitos so they will not reproduce, reported the Fresno Bee.

Aedes aegypti can carry the Zika virus and can spread it through to humans. Fresno County reported its first case of the Zika virus last year when a woman was diagnosed after she was bitten outside the country, said the Bee.

A second case in the county was confirmed in a woman who had sexual contact with a person who had traveled outside the country.

"Aedes aegypti first appeared in the central valley of California in 2013, and since then has become pervasive in Fresno County," said a Verily blog. "This study will be the largest U.S. release to-date of sterile male mosquitoes treated with Wolbachia, a naturally occurring bacterium, and will take place over a 20-week period in two neighborhoods each approximately 300 acres in size.

"When these sterile males mate with wild females the resulting eggs will not hatch. To measure our outcomes, we will compare the adult population density and egg hatching of Aedes aegypti in these targeted areas to two control neighborhoods. Over time, we hope to see a steep decline in the presence of Aedes aegypti in these communities." 

TechCrunch reported the lab-tested male mosquitoes don't bite, meaning that Fresno residents will not have to worry about feeling additionally discomfort with the introduction of some 20 million mosquitos.

Verily will release about a million mosquitoes a week over the 20-week period, the largest U.S. release to date of mosquitoes infected with the Wolbachia bacteria.

"If we really want to be able to help people globally, we need to be able to produce a lot of mosquitoes, distribute them to where they need to be, and measure the populations at very, very low costs," Linus Upson, a senior engineer at Verily, told the MIT Technology Review.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
TheWire
Bacteria-infected mosquitos – about 20 million of them – are joining Fresno, California's Zika fight through a project dreamed up by a subsidiary of Google's parent company.
bacteria-infected, mosquitoes, zika, fresno
357
2017-15-18
Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 06:15 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved