Mosquitoes are the world's most dangerous animals, vectoring dozens of diseases. One of the major disease vectors is Ades aegypti, an invasive insect with an ever-expanding range. Municipalities have turned to insecticides for control, which can impact beneficial insects. Sterile insect techniques, performed by mutagenizing mosquitoes to sterility, can work well in controlling insect populations. Over the last decade, Oxitec has advanced technologies that use a molecular techniques to repress development of mosquitoes in subsequent populations. Release of their genetically engineered males leads to decreasing populations of resident mosquitoes. In this week's podcast we discuss the risks, benefits, and overall strategy, along with the company's public communications efforts, with the goal of increasing deployment of this technology when it can complement pubic health initiatives.
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