California : Google will release 20 million mosquitoes sterile

Health 19 July, 2017

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Published the 19.07.2017 at 11: 55 am


Keywords :

moustiquemoustique aedeszikagoogle

Alphabet, is definitely well various. Already involved in the field of health, the parent company of Google will now launch in the hunt for the mosquitoes. Or, rather, in the releasing of mosquitoes. Its subsidiary, Verily account to introduce some 20 million male mosquitoes in the city of Fresno, California (United States).

This is not a vicious attack of a multinational evil, but an attempt to limit the spread of the mosquito Aedes aegypti, vector of transmission of Zika. The mosquitoes released will not give offspring.

A bacterium sterilizing

Mosquitoes are not genetically modified. They were infected by a bacterium that is natural and well known, Wolbachia, which affects many insects. It shall in particular make the mosquitoes sterile : the males released will mate, but the eggs did not hatch never.

They “take the place” of congeners fertile. Thus, the method is expected to reduce mechanically the number of individuals, without increasing the risk of a tick bite, since the males do not sting.

The project had been announced by Verily last October. The company has worked in the creation of two devices : the first product of male mosquitoes exclusively, and infected by Wolbachia, in an automated manner and on a large scale. The second was designed to facilitate the release of the insects in the nature.