Verily Life Sciences, a subsidiary of the Alphabet holding, which studies the possibilities of using technologies to strengthen human health, as well as preventing and treating diseases, the start of mosquitoes infected by bacteria in the framework of the campaign to counteract the spread of the ZIK virus.
In this area, Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes predominate (yellow -bore). This type of two -winged insects from the mosquito family is a carrier of the Denge, Chikunguni, yellow fever, Zika virus, as well as many tropical infectious diseases.
As part of the Debug Project project, Verily intends to destroy this population of mosquitoes, which are potential variability of the Zika virus, in order to avoid the spread of infection.
Scientists say that the destruction of the Aedes Aegypti mosquito population will not have negative consequences for the region’s ecosystem, since they appeared here relatively recently — in 2013.
Verily plan is as follows. Male individuals of mosquitoes are infected with bacteria Volbachia. Volbachia is harmless to humans, but from the eggs of the female mosquitoes infected by them will no longer be reproduced by offspring. It should be added that mosquitoes do not bite, so residents will not have to worry about itching more than usual.
Linus Upson, an engineer of the Komarov team, said in an interview with Mit Technology Review that the company plans to launch a similar project in Australia. «We want to show that this can work in various environments», — Apson said.
Verily plans to produce a million mosquitoes infected with bacteria Volbachia weekly. Within 20 weeks will be released in the area of Fresno in a total area of 300 acres about 20 million mosquitoes.