The Conversation: Monitoring the Spread of the Delta Variant; Reducing Hawaiʻi's Mosquito Populations
EPA Awards $750,000 to UC San Diego to Help Safely Develop Biotechnology Used Against Mosquito-Borne DiseaseResearch will Look at Health, Environmental Impacts in Hawaii, Pacific Islands
DescriptionThe pandemic was devastating in every possible way. It gutted families with death and horrible illness, it was rough on economies worldwide, and epidemiologists say mosquitoes could repeat that and worse.
California finds itself in the cross-hairs of this winged menace.
For more, KCBS Radio news anchor Rebecca Corral spoke with Omar Akbari, Associate Professor of Molecular Biology at UC San Diego.
Pest reduction with female killers and sterile malesTransgenic approaches could help control spotted wing drosophila
First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in U.S. Are Hatching NowAs Aedes aegypti mosquitoes increase their range because of warming climate, genetic manipulation of the disease-carrying species could gain wider appeal
By Donavyn Coffey on May 14, 2021
Tweaking the genes of wild animals could save endangered species and protect humans from disease. What could possibly go wrong?
You know mosquito bites are annoying. But they actually kill hundreds of thousands of people every year, primarily by transmitting disease. In fact, mosquitoes kill more humans than any other being on earth, including other humans.
However, in a bid that seems a bit backward, the state of Florida is about to allow the release of millions of genetically-modified insects into the wild. It’s an effort actually meant to reduce local populations that carry diseases like dengue or the Zika virus.
It’s an experiment some are comparing to Jurassic Park. And not everyone is happy about the development. Some Floridians have protested the mosquitos’ introduction and questioning the record of the company set to release them.
If you’re also concerned about cicadas, we’ve got you covered there. We talked about the impending cicada swarm.
But could these mutant bugs save lives?
GUESTSAndrea Lealexecutive director, Florida Keys Mosquito Control DistrictNathan Rosehead of regulatory affairs, UK-based biotech company OxitecOmar Akbariprofessor and molecular biologist, University of California San Diego