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At 7 A.M. on a midsummer day in Piracicaba, a city in the Brazilian state of São Paulo, Cecilia Kosmann sat in the back of a van surrounded by plastic take-out containers filled with genetically modified male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. Every two minutes or so, she shook a container through a plastic funnel, releasing them into the cool outside air.

This technology was developed by a UK biotech company Oxitec. The genetically modifed mosquitoes (usualy males, referred to Frankensquitoes), would mate with wild females. As the females produce offsprings, the next generation would not survive to adults, because they would require tetracycline, an antibiotic that is rarely available in the world, in their diet to survive to adulthood. Overtime as the population of the GM mosquitoes build up, the population of the disease-carrying mosquitoes Aedes Aegypti (transmitting Dengue Fever and Chikunguya) would fall, leading the transmission rate of these diseases being significantly reduced and eventually eliminated.

The GM insects are bred nearby in the city of Campinas, at a facility that can produce two million mosquitoes a week. In an all-white room, mosquitoes are mated and the resulting larvae divided by sex. Workers whisk at stray mosquitoes with electrified tennis rackets—the kind you see in novelty stores, but which have sold out in mosquito-obsessed Brazil. Oxitec suggest the program has decreased the number of wild mosquitoes by more than 80 percent in the treated neighborhoods.

Read the original post here.

Mosquitoes do exist here in the sunny SoCal! As reported by FOX 5 San Diego​, #mosquitoes are pestering several San Diego​ County communities right now and experts say high tides and heat are largely to blame. Beware, stay cool, stay healthy, and download our free ebook for tips to prevent mosquito bites.

Mosquito Outbreak reported in San Diego CA Summer 2018

See the original news here.

Want to know where are the mosquito habitats around you? Want to know the most up-to-date mosquito-borne disease status? Now citizen scientists (users like you and me) can use a free NASA App to help those working on vector control to understand and reduce mosquito-borne diseases. This App is a Mosquito Habitat Mapper and is part of its GLOBE Observer App available for iPhone and Android.

Users photograph mosquito larvae to identify disease-carrying species in the GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper.
Users photograph mosquito larvae to identify disease-carrying species in the GLOBE Observer Mosquito Habitat Mapper

The Mosquito Habitat Mapper guides users through the process of identifying and eliminating mosquito breeding sites. It also gives citizen scientists the option to identify the mosquito species to determine whether it could transmit Zika, dengue fever, yellow fever, chikungunya, and other diseases. This local, ground-based information collected by the App about mosquito habitats will support satellite-based research of environmental conditions which will prevent further outbreaks of mosquitoes.

Download the App here to help yourself and help others.

See NASA's oroginal post here.

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