Mosquitos are a common pest known for spreading deadly diseases and causes itchy bites on the skin. Yet, they are also pollinators and a food source for other animals. Because the bad outweighs the good, scientists have devised a plan of action to eradicate mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. The prevention of deadly diseases being spread will be prioritized because animals who eat mosquitos will be able to find other food sources.
The warm and humid environment of the Florida Keys is a hospitable place for mosquitoes. The process will be to genetically modify male mosquitoes so that when they mate with females the resulting larvae die. The specific type of mosquito targeted in this effort is the Aedes aegypti mosquito. Extraordinary diligence and careful prep has attended the initiative to kill off mosquitoes in The Keys. No operation was going to be activated until government health officials were fully confident that it would be conducted and carried out as safely as possible.
Following are the first two paragraphs of a story, “Genetically modified mosquitoes have been OK’d for first U.S. Test flight: As dengue cases rise in the Florida keys, a much-debated public health tool gets a nod for 2021,” published on August 22 in Science News:
“After a decade of fits and starts, officials in the Florida Keys have voted to allow the first test in the United States of free-flying, genetically modified mosquitoes as a way to fight the pests and the diseases they spread. The decision came after about two hours of contentious testimony in a virtual public hearing on August 18. Many speakers railed against uncertainties in releasing genetically engineered organisms. In the end, though, worries about mosquito-borne diseases proved more compelling. On the day of the vote, dengue fever cases in Monroe County, where the Keys are located, totaled 47 so far in 2020, the first surge in almost a decade.”
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