While biotech male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that pass on a gene that kills offspring before they become sexually mature is largely effective in reducing the spread of bloodborne disease by reducing mosquito populations, there are challenges. "But if we believe that controlling malaria, dengue or pest is something that society wants to improve public health or save crops, then developing tools for this has to be the right thing to do," said Michael Bonsall, professor of mathematical biology at the University of Oxford.
Gene drives improve upon biotech mosquitoes, but not without challenges
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