Release of man-made killer mosquitoes will reduce disease population

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Killing all mosquitoes worldwide would likely not affect the food chain and - after reducing malaria, dengue fever and Zika - would save hundreds of thousands of children's lives.

Male mosquitoes infected with a certain bacteria can mate with female, potentially disease carrying mosquitoes, and render them infertile, lowering the mosquito population.

. MosquitoMate has had far less controversy over their natural approach to using ZAPs to combat disease-carrying mosquitoes.

Asian Tiger Mosquitoes, which are large black mosquitoes with bans of white, are known to carry - in addition to dengue and chikungunya viruses - West Nile virus, Eastern equine encephalitis, Japanese encephalitis and can also transmit dog heartworm parasites, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Translation: The company can release lab-grown, bacteria-infected, so-called killer mosquitoes in 20 states and Washington, D.C., Nature reported. Males don't bite, so releasing them should not add extra vexation. The eggs produced from the infected male and wild female mosquitoes will also be infected and won't hatch because the paternal chromosomes are infected with Wolbachia. Wolbachia are naturally occurring bacteria commonly found in most insect species, according to the EPA.

"MosquitoMate has performed field trials using the ZAP technology in Kentucky, California, and NY", said Corey Brelsfoard, the Adam project's team leader.

For now, the southeastern U.S., which has the densest mosquito populations is excluded from the trials as testing was not conducted under those climates. "It's unrealistic to think that you can just eliminate a mosquito species as simply as one of these sterile-male control programs wants to do".

Scientists will breed only male mosquitoes in the lab - up to millions for certain urban areas and which don't bite people, with ZAP strain, a strain of the Wolbachia bacteria. A similar project in Florida was approved by the federal government past year, but local voters rejected the trial because of potential effects it could have on the local environment.

Individual property owners, from hotels to homeowners, would be able to purchase the ZAP bugs, but it may take a while for the company to spread across all 20 states - the company will have to produce millions of mosquitoes and they are now separating the male from the female ZAP mosquitoes by hand. However, MosquitoMate successfully did trials in the Florida Keys and Fresno, California, attracting very little attention.

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