Mosquitoes wiped out on two islands

Scientists have used a new technique to wipe out a population of mosquito species on two islands in China.
The results of the pilot trial, published in the journal Nature , show that combining incompatible and sterile insect techniques enabled near elimination of Aedes albopictus , or the Asian tiger mosquito, populations on two relatively isolated islands in the Pearl River near Guangzhou over a two-year period. The technique, a form of insect birth control, uses radiation to sterilise male insects, which are then released to mate with wild females. As these do not produce any offspring, the insect population declines over time. Combining the technique with cytoplasmic incompatibility conferred to the males by Wolbachia bacteria allows a reduced radiation dose to be used.

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