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UK firm in talks with MRCU on genetically engineered mosquitos

The Mosquito Research and Control Unit is still in talks with a UK firm regarding the use of genetically engineered mosquitos.

Oxitec Ltd. told they participated in studies in Cayman back in 2010 and 2011, releasing “self limiting” male aedis aegypti mosquitos to mate with wild females.

The offspring of these unions inherit the self limiting gene and die.

The company says their studies here and in other parts of the world show this can help reduce populations by 90% or more.

“Yes, we are talking to the MRCU as we are talking to a lot of other countries. Brazil, Panama, Florida, Malaysia,” said Oxitec Product Developmemt Manager Derric Nimmo. “Our technology is compatible with a lot of the current control methods out there, so, we hope we could use this as a long term control tool.”

The MRCU says GMO mosquitos don’t factor into the country’s Zika preparedness right now, but could be incorporated into long term control strategies.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to josephavary@hurleysmedia.ky

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