Genetically modified mosquitoes vs. the Zika virus

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KEY WEST, FL - Have you heard this one....

“Knock, knock.”

“Who`s there?”

“Amos.”

“Amos who?”

“A mosquito just bit me.”

Corny joke, but seriously….folks getting bit by mosquitoes these days, especially if they`re pregnant, is no joke. Thanks to an outbreak of the Zika virus, it`s become a public health emergency.

In most cases, getting bit by a Zika carrying mosquito is harmless. However, Zika infections among pregnant women may be linked to an increase in birth defects.

The federal government has heard your cries for help. Genetically Modified Mosquitoes (GMM's) to the rescue!

The feds have given the green light for a trial that involves releasing these GMM’s into the wild near Key West, Florida where they will mate with female mosquitoes. The self-limiting gene is passed on to their offspring, which theoretically will die before becoming adults. No adult mosquitoes means no disease transmission.

Mosquitoes have been around and biting for more than a hundred million years. The genetically-altered pests may help zap Zika....if only they could figure out a way to keep them from itching us!

 

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