Release of man-made killer mosquitoes will reduce disease population

EPA approves bacteria-infected mosquitoes to fight Zika

For more than 4,000 years, humans have battled mosquito-borne diseases, and now, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved a line of lab-grown mosquitoes created to reduce the number of these illness-causing insects.

Attack of the killer mosquitoes - but thankfully, they're not after us.

On their website, MosquitoMate claims that the release of their modified males reduces biting mosquito populations by 80 percent, and now, they market their line of lab-grown mosquitoes as a method of pest control, helping towns and their citizens see fewer itchy bites in the warm months.

MosquitoMate, which is based in Lexington, Kentucky, received permission to release the mosquitoes, which have been infected with the bacteria called Wolbachia pipientis, Newsweek reports.

According to Quartz, "When bacteria-infected males mate with uninfected females, the females produce eggs that don't hatch". This will reduce the amount of biting, disease-carrying lady mosquitoes.

As MosquitoMate says, the best thing to find a mosquito is another mosquito.

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It's a non-chemical way of dealing with mosquitoes, so from that perspective, you'd think it would have a lot of appeal.

The EPA is allowing MosquitoMate Inc.to sell this technology in 20 states and the District of Columbia for five years, at which time it can renew its registration. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has given biotechnology startup MosquitoMate the green light to experiment with using weaponized male mosquitoes to kill Asian tiger mosquitoes.

The infected mosquitoes won't affect other insects and the Wolbachia bacteria can not be transmitted to humans, pets, or other warm-blooded animals.

Once field trials are complete for the Southeastern United States, where mosquitoes are also prevalent, the company hopes to spread their biotech there as well.

If successful, this kind of biotechnology would be a big step forward towards solving the enormous global health issue of mosquito-borne diseases.

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