Method eliminates dangerous mosquitos, spares other species

Researchers from Michigan State University and Sun Yat-Sen University in China have developed a novel approach to eliminating a mosquito that spreads viruses including dengue fever and Zika. The team has infected Asian tiger mosquitos (aedes albopictus) with bacteria, with an added dose of radiation to keep females from producing eggs. The technique has all but eliminated the mosquito from two Chinese islands, the team reports in the journal Nature. The team infected a mosquito colony with the bacteria Wolbachia, and used a low-dose of radiation to sterilize females to ensure that infected males passed on the bacteria to wild females, stopping their eggs from hatching. Researchers believe the technique can be an effective, species-specific method to control mosquitos.

Read more from ABC News here, and read the study here.

Header Image: The Asian tiger mosquito can spread diseases like dengue fever and Zika. ©CDC