- A whopping 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes will be set free along the Florida Keys starting in 2021.
- The insects are designed to hinder the reproduction of female mosquitoes that bite and spread disease.
- The company behind the bugs, Oxitec, also has plans to release modified mosquitoes in Texas beginning next year.
It might sound like the plot of a made-for-TV horror movie, but Florida is about to unleash a horde of genetically-modified mosquitoes onto its citizens. Some 750 million — yes, million — mosquitoes will be set loose along the Florida Keys island chain in an attempt to fight disease.
You’re probably asking yourself how unleashing mosquitoes — which are well-known disease carriers — could possibly fight disease, but the idea behind the project is actually pretty interesting. The diseases the government is attempting to target with the project are Zika, yellow fever, and dengue, all of which are commonly carried by the flying insects. The genetically modified mosquitoes that will be seeded into the population are designed specifically to kill off their peers that may be carrying these diseases.