Bill Gates-Backed Company Releasing Over 100,000 Genetically Modified Mosquitoes

They are targeting the female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes which transmit dengue, Zika and other diseases in people.
Bill Gates-Backed Company Releasing Over 100,000 Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Image credit: Depositphotos.com

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
Entrepreneur Staff
1 min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

The British company Oxitec is deploying a total of 144,000 genetically modified mosquitoes to study how to control their reproduction and thus stop the spread of dengue, Zika, and other types of ailments in humans and animals.

As reported by Axios , the company, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , released the mosquitoes a week ago from the Florida Keys.

In a statement, Oxitec explained that this experiment seeks to study ways to stop the reproduction of Aedes aegypti , the main transmitters of potentially fatal diseases.

Why are Oxitec mosquitoes different? According to the company, the males in their insect cloud have a modified gene, called OX5034, that restricts the survival of the females they mate with. Thus, mosquitoes will not grow large enough to bite humans (only females consume blood; males feed on nectar).

Oxitec noted that this species only represents 4% of the mosquito population in Florida, but it is the most disease-transmitting species. They have already released millions of modified insects around the world, including in Brazil and the Cayman Islands.

More from Entrepreneur
Our Franchise Advisors are here to help you throughout the entire process of building your franchise organization!
  1. Schedule a FREE one-on-one session with a Franchise Advisor
  2. Choose one of our programs that matches your needs, budget, and timeline
  3. Launch your new franchise organization
Use code MARKET2021 through 4/24/21 to save on 12 marketing books for entrepreneurs that are recommended by entrepreneurs:
  • Digital Marketing Handbook
  • No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing
  • Ultimate Guide to Youtube for Business
  • And more
Make sure you’re covered for physical injuries or property damage at work by
  • Providing us with basic information about your business
  • Verifying details about your business with one of our specialists
  • Speaking with an agent who is specifically suited to insure your business

Latest on Entrepreneur