Local Company Sterilizing Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus

By Bernhard, Blythe | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), March 15, 2016 | Go to article overview

Local Company Sterilizing Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus


Bernhard, Blythe, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


The battle against the Zika virus, which can cause birth defects and paralysis, has been taken to the source.

The deadliest creatures on Earth mosquitoes kill 725,000 people every year by passing on malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever and other diseases. Now the insects are blamed for spreading Zika, infecting 3 million to 4 million people across Latin America in the last year.

Conventional mosquito control efforts involve spraying pesticides where the insects breed. But mosquitoes have developed resistance to many pesticides, and the spray means other helpful bugs die. The World Health Organization says that traditional pesticides have had no significant impact on slowing other mosquito-borne diseases.

A St. Louis startup biotech company says it has another solution. Forrest Innovations of Creve Coeur plans to breed and release sterile mosquitoes to prevent reproduction and eventually reduce their population. Their first target: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which has seen the world's largest Zika outbreaks and will host the upcoming Summer Olympics.

"If we stop the mosquito, we can stop Zika, West Nile or any other viruses we might see in the next five years," said Nitzan Paldi, Forrest's CEO. Israel-based Forrest Innovations moved its American headquarters to the Bio Research and Development Growth Park at the Danforth Plant Science Center last year.

The concept is not new. Agriculture scientists have long used radiation to sterilize fruit flies, which are then released to kill off the crop-destroying pest. But fruit flies are much sturdier than mosquitoes, and radiation tends to kill the mosquito.

Forrest's mosquito control program, called NoMoreMos, involves a different technique to sterilize male mosquitoes at a larval stage. After the males are sorted by machine (females weigh slightly more than males), the larvae receive a topical application of a solution that renders them sterile but does not modify their genetic code.

It is more efficient to sterilize males and prevent them from fertilizing females' eggs. And male mosquitoes don't bite, since only females need blood meals for egg development. The idea is to outnumber the wild male mosquito population with the sterile males, who will win the competition for females' attention.

"If you release 10 sterile males for every male that is living in the environment, you are reducing the population by 90 percent every generation," Paldi said.

How to distribute sterile mosquitoes over vast areas of rain forests or other areas plagued by mosquito-borne diseases is a challenge. While fruit flies can be successfully dropped from planes, mosquitoes disintegrate in the process.

Forrest Innovations teamed up with another company that created a mechanism for mosquitoes to survive air drops. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Local Company Sterilizing Mosquitoes to Fight Zika Virus
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.