Cases of Dengue Drop 91 Percent Due to Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti

By Richard Levine Once again, a technique that modifies insects in order to control their populations has been proven effective. RIDL, which stands for Release of Insects carrying a Dominant Lethal, has been applied to diamondback moths, Mediterranean fruit flies, and olive flies, and it has been used in field trials on mosquitoes in order […]

A New Pesticide-Free Way to Control Diamondback Moths

An article in the in the journal BioMed Central Biology describes a new pesticide-free and environmentally-friendly way to control diamondback moths (Plutella xylostella) with a “self-limiting gene.” The DBM is an invasive species and is a serious pest of cabbages, kale, canola and other crucifer crops around the world. The self-limiting gene technique, developed by […]

Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Reduce Dengue Transmitters by 95 Percent

The results of a trial of genetically engineered mosquitoes intended to reduce their ability to transmit dengue fever have been published in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases. The mosquitoes, commonly known as “Friendly Aedes aegypti” mosqitoes in Brazil where the trial took place, were developed by a company called Oxitec. The results of the […]

Some Facts About Florida’s Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

By Richard Levine Over the weekend, a deluge of news articles about the possible release of genetically-modified mosquitoes in the Florida Keys swept the Internet. The modified mosquitoes, if approved, would be used to control mosquito populations without pesticides, and would lower the chances of Floridians being exposed to mosquito-borne diseases like dengue and chikungunya. […]

New Approach to Sterilizing Fruit Flies

The sterile insect technique, or SIT, has been used for decades to control insects such as the Mediterranean fruit fly. Basically, insects are exposed to radiation, which makes them sterile, and then they’re released into the wild to mate. However, since they’re sterile, no viable offspring are produced. Now a new method of sterilization — […]