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Genetically modified mosquitoes released in U.S. to reduce disease spread Updated: 2021-05-13 10:01:25 KST

Welcome, it's time for the 'World Now'. Bringing you some of the most interesting news from around the globe, I'm Eum Ji-young.
Summer is coming and that means sunshine, sweltering heat, and perhaps, mosquitoes.
To reduce the spread of deadly diseases caused by mosquitoes including dengue, yellow fever and Zika virus, genetically modified mosquitoes have been released for the first time in the United States.
Genetically modified Aedes aeypti mosquitoes were released in the Florida Keys in a pilot program launched by a British-based biotechnology firm Oxitec.

"Inside we have a small container, and this is what we put the mosquito eggs in. We also have a small container for food. We leave it open. And then we fill the box, less than halfway full, with water. We close the lid, and after a week or two, our non-biting male mosquitos begin to emerge."

Only the female of that species bite, so the company created males that pass on a gene that kills female offspring.
Although local authorities and Oxitec have high hopes, some residents and environmental groups are concerned that not enough is known about the long-term effect of this program.
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