Scientists to release 20M mosquitoes in California in attempt to reduce disease

To reduce the population of mosquitoes that carry diseases, California scientists will release 20 million sterile male mosquitoes into two neighborhoods in Fresno County, according to Health News Florida.

Debug Fresno, the mosquito reduction project, will entail releasing 1 million sterile, non-biting, male mosquitoes each week for 20 weeks. The goal is to cut the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the vector that transmits Zika, yellow fever and dengue fever viruses.

The addition of 20 million sterile male mosquitoes into Fresno County is expected to cut the population of disease carrying mosquitos by causing embryo fatality or low hatch rates. The male mosquito will be bred to contain the bacterium Wolbachia, which causes the lower hatch rates. The bacterium also helps lower the chance the mosquito carries diseases such as Zika.

The project is being launched by research company Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of Alphabet. 

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