Scientists in Brazil reported last week that a strain of genetically modified mosquitoes may be helping to kill the species that carries dengue fever. Scientists unloosed more than ten million modified Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes in the city of Juazeiro last year. The altered bugs carry a gene that kills their offspring before reaching adulthood. "From samples collected in the field, 85 percent of the eggs were transgenic, which means that the males released are overriding the wild population," Aldo Malavasi, the project's coordinator, said. Malavasi noted that dwindling Aedes populations will take time to translate to lower dengue transmission rates. Environmental advocates have expressed concern about the long-term consequences of the project, smaller versions of which are also underway in Malaysia and the Caymen Islands.
Read more at Nature
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.