Aedes aegypti is a type of what? Carnivorous plant, paper, hieroglyphics, or mosquito. This is a species of mosquito that can carry deadly diseases.
The controversial plan is moving ahead to release genetically modified mosquitoes into the Florida Keys. More than 750,000 of the insects are set to be introduced there. Why? The aedes aegypti mosquito can carry dangerous diseases like the Zika virus, Dengue fever and yellow fever.
Officials are looking for new ways to kill off these insects without using pesticides and genetically modified mosquitoes might be a way to do this.
Only female mosquitoes bite people. The altered insects that are set to be released in Florida are male. They've been modified so that the female offspring they produce will die before they hatch from their eggs and grow big enough to bite people. And the company that developed these GMO mosquitoes says they've been very successful in controlling mosquito populations in Panama, Brazil and the Cayman Islands.
But there's strong opposition among people in Florida to releasing the altered mosquitoes there. One technology and food safety advocate called it a Jurassic Park experiment and said there's no way to know what could go wrong because government officials haven't done enough to review the risks.
Environmental groups are also concerned about what could happen to the birds, mammals and other insects that eat the GMO mosquitoes. The altered insects are set to be released in the Florida Keys in the years 2021 and 2022.