Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Sex could be the latest weapon in mankind’s unrelenting fight against mosquitoes.

Researchers at a fledgling UK firm are laying a “copulation trap” for mosquitoes which will eventually drive down the population of these pesky insects.

The technique that the five-year-old Oxitec or Oxford Insect Technologies — a spin-off from the University of Oxford — is developing is based on an interesting strategy: release a swarm of genetically engineered male mosquitoes whose mating with the female insects in the wild will yield progeny that are doomed to die as larvae or pupae. Sustained release of such healthy but reproductively-compromised mosquitoes will eventually lead to a crash in their population.

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