[Net-Gold] MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS : GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MOSQUITOES : POLITICAL CONFLICT AND DISAGREEMENT: Florida Keys Split on Using Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes to Fight Zika

 

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MEDICAL: DISEASES: ZIKA VIRUS :

GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MOSQUITOES :

POLITICAL CONFLICT AND DISAGREEMENT:

Florida Keys Split on Using
Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes to Fight Zika

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Florida Keys Split on Using
Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes to Fight Zika

Genetically altered insects may be able to reduce populations of the species

By Rachel Bluth and Emily Kopp

Kaiser Health News

November 12, 2016

Houston Chronicle

http://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/nation-world/nation/ article/Florida-Keys-split-on-using-genetically-10610558.php

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A shorter URL for the above link:

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http://tinyurl.com/zfavbu8

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Voters in a Florida county were at odds on a ballot referendum this past Tuesday about whether to allow the first trial of mosquitoes genetically engineered to reduce populations of the species that spreads Zika.

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That species, the Aedes aegypti, lives in homes and is difficult to root out with insecticides. In addition to Zika, they spread yellow fever, dengue and chikungunya.

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In Key Haven, the town where the trial could be conducted, more than 65 percent of voters rejected the plan. In Monroe County, which includes Key Haven, more than 57 percent of voters said yes to it.

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The ballot measure, sometimes referred to as a “straw poll,” is nonbinding. A decision on the question will be made by the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District Board, which is scheduled to meet Saturdayto discuss the poll results and the results of five other surveys the county has conducted.

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Oxitec, the company that developed the experimental mosquito,” is owned by Intrexon Corp., a biotechnology firm focused on synthetic biology.

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If the trial proceeds, the Britain-based company’s mosquitoes would be released three times a week over the small peninsula. Key Haven has just 1,000 residences and a single gas station. The native mosquito population is insulated by seawater and the island’s main highway, making for a perfect trial location, Oxitec said.

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In the trial, the mosquitoes will breed with native females, the ones that bite. Both the genetically engineered insects and their offspring carry a fatal gene, and die quickly. Over time, the population would thin out.

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“We’re very happy with the results,” Mosquito Control Board Chairman Phil Goodman said of the Monroe County vote. He thought Key Haven voters got bad information about the safety of the trial and expects the board will approve a trial, but somewhere else in the county.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,

David Dillard

Temple University

(215) 204 – 4584

jwne@temple.edu

http://workface.com/e/daviddillard

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Author: jwneastro

I am a reference librarian at Temple University and a specialist in bibliographic database searching.

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