With the continued concern about the Zika-spreading and difficult-to-control Aedes aegypti mosquito, the FDA has now approved the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in the state of Florida. It may not happen, however, as local officials and the public will also weigh-in on the decision, with a referendum question added to the November ballot.
If approved, genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes would be released in December of this year, in the Florida Keys. The mosquitoes would carry a specific gene which causes their offspring to die. The hope is that these new mosquitoes would help reduce the volume of the potentially harmful Aedes aegypti population and lower the chances of the spread of Zika in the United States.
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(Photograph by James Gathany, CDC, distributed under CC-BY 2.5 license)