20 Million Mosquitoes Set for Release in California

A Google bio-lab is set to release millions of mosquitoes infected with fertility-destroying bacteria, what could possibly go wrong? The experiment is meant to reduce the population of mosquitoes in California.

Although the study seems harmless enough, there is always the possibility that the experiment will fail. Worse, the consequences may endanger public health and wildlife once the released mosquitoes mutate.

Google’s sister company releasing 20 million mosquitoes infected with fertility-destroying bacteria

(Natural News) On July 14, Google’s bio-lab began releasing the first batches of the 20 million bacteria-filled mosquitoes they plan to set free in the heart of California in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry life-threatening diseases. The project, called Debug Fresno, is an initiative led by Verily Life Sciences, an offshoot of Google’s parent company Alphabet, in collaboration with MosquitoMate and Fresno County’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District.

According to the scientists, the goal of the project is to cut the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — which are known for spreading Zika, dengue, and chikungunya. Over the course of 20 weeks, the company will release 1 million sterile, non-biting male mosquitoes in two 300-acre neighborhoods in Fresno County every week.

The mosquitoes being released are not genetically modified, though they are made in a lab. The male mosquitoes are bred by a robot and infected with Wolbachia, a bacterium that makes male mosquitoes sterile to any female that doesn’t have a Wolbachia infection herself. This makes it unable to successfully breed and will reduce the mosquito populations with every new generation.

During the experiment, Verily Life Sciences will monitor the population density and egg hatching among the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. These numbers will then be compared with the numbers from two control neighborhoods. The company expects to see a steep decline in the mosquito numbers in the target areas.


Image courtesy of: sujoyp

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