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Biotech

Engineered Mosquitoes Could Wipe Out Dengue Fever 343

Christina Valencia points us to a Wired story about scientists who plan to use genetically modified mosquitoes to reduce the population of Dengue-carrying insects. The altered genes cause newly born mosquitoes to die before they are able to breed if they are not supplied with a crucial antibiotic. This is a more aggressive approach than the anti-Malaria work we discussed last year. From Wired: "Mosquitoes pass dengue fever to up to 100 million people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Up to 5 million die. If the scientists can replicate their results in real field conditions, their technology could kill half of the next generation of dengue mosquitoes, which scientists say would significantly reduce the spread of the disease. If all goes well the company envisions releasing the insects in Malaysia on a large scale in three years."

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