One Oxitec factory can produce 60 million mosquitoes per week that are genetically engineered to destroy other mosquitoes.
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Medicine
Early tests "showed the population of wild Aedes aegypti insects dropped by 90 percent after the mutant mosquitoes were released."
Scientists in Brazil are preparing to release millions of factory-bred mosquitoes in an attempt to wipe out their distant cousins that carry tropical diseases. The insects' method: have sex and then die.
British firm Oxitec says its genetically modified mosquitoes will swarm in among ordinary species such as Aedes aegypti, the insect that carries feared diseases such as Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya.
They will mate with the females of the ordinary mosquitoes, spawning babies with a genetically inbuilt flaw that causes them to die quickly.
With their work done, the modified father mosquitoes will then give up the ghost themselves—as they are genetically programmed to do.
Oxitec says its factory in the town of Piracicaba, northwest of Sao Paulo, can produce 60 million mutant mosquitoes a week.
Piracicaba is the world's "first and biggest factory" of genetically modified mosquitos, said Oxitec president Hadyn Parry.
"This is the only place where we have a factory like this. We can use this as a hub for Brazil," said Parry, who traveled to Piracicaba for the plant opening.
Currently their only Brazilian customer is the city of Piracicaba, "but we are having conversations with several municipalities and states," Parry said.
I wonder what unforeseen consequences might be.