Self-Destructing Mosquitoes

Oxitec has genetically engineered mosquitoes that pass a self-destruct code to all of their female offspring.


Under ordinary circumstances, no self-respecting Floridian would consent to someone intentionally unleashing mosquitoes on their neighborhood. But a genetically engineered version of Aedes aegypti created by the bioscience firm Oxitec is changing that. The company's Friendly™ male mosquitoes pass a genetic self-destruct code to all of their blood-drinking and dengue-transmitting female offspring, which over time suppresses the local Aedes aegypti population. The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District is undertaking a collaborative pilot project using Oxitec's Friendly™ mosquitoes in small areas of the Florida Keys in spring 2021.