Scientists in California are releasing 20 million mosquitoes this summer in an effort to shrink the population of mosquitoes that can carry diseases.
It sounds counter-intuitive. But the plan is to release millions of sterile male mosquitoes, which will then mate with wild female mosquitoes. The eggs the females lay won’t hatch, researchers say.
The project is called Debug Fresno and is being undertaken by Verily, a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s holding company. It’s the company’s first field study involving sterile mosquitoes in the U.S.
Scientists say the goal is to cut the population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes — the species responsible for spreading Zika, dengue and chikungunya. A. aegypti have been present in California’s Central Valley since 2013 and have been a problem in Fresno County.
“It’s a terrible nuisance, a terrible biting nuisance. It’s changed the way people can enjoy their back yard and it’s a threat for disease transmission,” Steve Mulligan of Fresno County’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District told The Washington Post.
Each week for 20 weeks, the company plans to release 1 million of the sterile, non-biting male mosquitoes in two neighborhoods in Fresno County. The male mosquitoes are bred and infected with Wolbachia, a bacterium which is “naturally found in at least 40 percent of all insect species,” according to The Scientist magazine, though it’s normally not found in A. aegypti.
“Over time, we hope to see a steep decline in the presence of Aedes aegypti in these communities,” Verily says in a statement.
In a phenomenon called cytoplasmic incompatibility, “matings between Wolbachia-infected males and uninfected females results in embryo lethality or low hatch rates,” William Sullivan and Scott L. O’Neill write in the journal Nature.
“Because the effect of Wolbachia infection on insect reproduction favours the survival of Wolbachia-infected females over uninfected females, Wolbachia can rapidly spread through an insect population.”
Wolbachia also helps mosquitoes to avoid carrying diseases like Zika in the first place. A. aegypti “carrying Wolbachia bacteria were highly resistant to Zika virus infection, and were unable to transmit the virus via their saliva,” The Scientist writes, citing a 2016 study in Brazil.
The magazine says the bacterium “is not known” to infect humans.
Verily is partnering with the Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate and the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District of Fresno County in the project. They plan to study the A. aegypti population density and number of eggs hatching in the experimental areas and compare to control neighborhoods to measure the experiment’s effectiveness.
It’s not the first time the bacteria-carrying mosquitoes have been released into the wild in the U.S. MosquitoMate and the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District released 75,000 Wolbachia-carrying mosquitoes each week for several weeks in the Florida Keys this spring.
Last year in Fresno, MosquitoMate and county officials released about 800,000 of the mosquitoes. But this experiment is a 25-fold increase on that.
Verily says it developed “automated mass rearing and sex-sorting processes,” which enable it to breed and release so many of the mosquitoes in such a short time.
A. aegypti is an invasive species to Fresno County and officials told the Post they don’t predict an impact on the local ecosystem from reducing or eliminating it.
The method Verily is using to cut the mosquito population differs from the experiment the British company Oxitec proposed last year in the Florida Keys. In contrast to the mosquitoes being infected by bacteria, Oxitec has released males that are genetically modified with “a gene that causes the mosquito’s offspring to die in the first two to three days of life,” according to The Dallas Morning News. Many Florida Keys residents bitterly opposed the proposed experiment last year; some Texas residents are reacting similarly to a proposed trial there, the Morning News reports.
From the spring to the fall of 2016, 38 additional counties in the U.S. reported evidence of the A. aegypti mosquito, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since the beginning of 2015, more than 5,300 symptomatic cases of Zika were reported to the CDC in the U.S., though the vast majority stemmed from people traveling to affected areas. As of Wednesday, the agency said there were no reported cases of people getting Zika in the U.S. this year “through presumed local mosquito-borne transmission.”
Amaechi Vows To Release Names Of Those Sabotaging Security
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has said that cabals are frustrating the recently approved $198m maritime security contract.
Amaechi vowed to publicly mention names of saboteurs while speaking at a Maritime Stakeholders’ Interactive Forum held in Warri, Delta State on Thursday.
He said “Reason, why vessels will not come to the Eastern ports, is because there is war insurance due to insecurity in the ports here.
“The war insurance means if the goods cost N10,000 in Lagos, it will cost N20,000 here because there is an extra cost on it due to Insecurity issues. Even as a minister, I can’t enter a boat ride from Warri to Port Harcourt due to insecurity issues, but I can move around Lagos at any time of the day.
“I once asked a former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi, why people from Anambra don’t import from Port Harcourt port, and he said it cost less to import from Lagos and move to Onitsha even with the price they pay on the road. It is cheaper to import from Lagos to Aba, yet Aba to Port Harcourt is a 30-minute drive.
“For shipowners, you need to do a petition to Mr President. The President approved a contract of $195m for maritime security, but there are people in the system sabotaging the contract because it will restore security in the water. I won’t say who they are until it gets out of control. We are still battling for the contract to take place, but if it gets out of place, we will name them publicly, including the security people involved.
“There are people who make billions of Dollars from the insecurity on the water, so they don’t want security on the water because if we secure the water, all their rubbish will go.
“There are businesses which provide the vessel for oil companies in the name of providing security. The moment we secure the water, they are out of jobs?
Prison Officer Brutalizes Son, Injures Him For Playing Football (Graphic)
According to a photographer who shared photos of a teenage boy brutalized by his father, almost went into coma after he sustained a deep injury on his head, just for playing football.
The Nigerian Prisons staff beats his son from 7:00pm till 2:30 am, says report.
See what the photographer/Instagram user wrote..
This happened at Oluwatedo area of Ibadan, Mr Adepoju Biodun is married with three kids,he works with Nigerian prison service Agodi,ibadan.his eldest child is Israel, On 16th February 2018 Israel went to play football and after the football his father beat him from 7:00pm till 2:30am in the early hours of Saturday till he sustained a deep cut on his head with blood everywhere in the house.his the appropriate way to correct or chastise our child. This is beyond chastisement. Israel was beaten to coma before he was later rushed to Don Bosco specialist hospital Ogungbade. I will soon upload the surface area of the deep cut as soon as they open it.his siblings also tolu and praise served severe punishment, they were relieved as soon as Israel was rushed to the hospital. Please share until the appropriate authorities sees this especially Nigerian prisons, UNICEF. #UNICEF #law #crazyfather #ibadan #opayemioludayo
#tolanialli #bayoomoboriowo #michaelomoboriowophotography #ajimobi #florenceajimobi #lawyer #nigerianprison #nigerianprison #freshfm #splashfm #inspirationfm
Beating for your son for playing football? My God.
Someone please remind him how much Neymar is worth per week!!! Kaii
There is another angle to look at this… No father in his right mind would do this to his own son!!! This is a clear case MENTAL ILLNESS/TRUMA probably due to the nature of his work. I am not a psychologist but I know in that in Nigeria we lack the culture of looking out for the signs of mental fatigue amongst our workers in all sector. Military /Paramilitary have no proper way of been evaluated for any form of work trauma. This man could be having or experiencing trauma as the result of the nature of his job. May God help him and his family.
UYO STATE LAWMAKER RESCUES PUPILS AGAIN …DONATES DESKS TO SCHOOL
The member representing Uyo State Constituency in the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Monday Eyo Okon, on Friday, donated 120 desks to the pupils of Government Primary School, Aka Offot, Uyo Local Government Area.
Hon. Monday Eyo who described Education as a bedrock of any society, and for any society to make progress, stated that when the foundation that is the primary level of education is well laid, motivated and properly activated, the child who is at the centre of learning is well prepared, informed and sharpened for the future both mentally and physically.
Headmaster of the School, Mr. Simon Edet Eyo, alongside the Village Head of Aka 1, Eteidung Francis, Hon. Kufre Mendi, while receiving the Lawmaker, commended him for his kind gesture and rapid response to the plight of the pupils within the short notice of time.
PDP RESPONSIBLE FOR FUEL HIKE- Don Etiebet …BLAMES OBJ,JONATHAN FOR OIL SPILLS IN NIGER DELTA
Former Petroleum Minister Chief Don Etiebet says the current fuel crisis in Nigeria is caused by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party.
Speaking in an interview in Uyo, Chief Etiebet the APC leader in Akwa Ibom explained that the petroleum distribution in Nigeria is controlled by PDP members who are causing the fuel hike to project President Muhammadu Buhari as a failure.
Buhari is the substantive Ministet of Petroleum in Nigeria.
“Who are still controlling the petroleum distribution in Nigeria; it is still the original PDP marketers.”
He attributed the fuel hike to the impending elections in the country, saying it is an attempt by the PDP marketers to discredit APC.
“Election time is coming and they are doing all kinds of thing for petrol not to be available, and what do they want? They want increase I petrol price so that they can use that against APC”
Etiebet, who was minister of petroleum under Gen. Sani Abacha attributed all oil spill in the South-South Zone to illegal bunkering.
He said illegal bunkering in Nigeria where sponsored by the previous Government OF Chief Olusegu Obasanjo and Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.
“Many Government in the past even up to the last Government have been supporting illegal bunkering; please quote me, I am the former minister for petroleum and I know the details”
On the proposed reintroduction of onshore/offshore oil dichotomy by the APC restructuring Committee, Dr. Etiebet said there was nothing wrong with the committee report.
“ I believe what the committee meant maybe oil discovered or produced outside that isoba boundary.”
He assured that president buhari has done well for Akwa Ibom with the development programme been seen in all part Akwa Ibom state and urged Akwa Ibom people to rally round him for the re-election of President Buhari in 2019
The NANS JCC Chairman Comrade. Ekanem Utibe seeks for partnership with wema bank
By Our Source