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GMO Mosquitoes to Fight Spread of Dengue and Chikungunya January 26, 2015

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, In The News, Science & Technology.
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Global_DengueTransmission_ITHRiskMapThere are no vaccines or cures for dengue, known as “break-bone fever,” or chikungunya, so painful it causes contortions. While U.S. cases remain rare for now, they have been rapidly spread throughout the Caribbean and Central America. But Aedes aegypti, whose biting females spread these diseases, have evolved to resist four of the six insecticides used to kill them.

Enter Oxitec, a British biotech firm that patented a method of breeding Aedes aegypti with fragments of genes from the herpes simplex virus and E. coli bacteria as well as coral and cabbage. This synthetic DNA is commonly used in laboratory science and is thought to pose no significant risks to other animals, but it kills mosquito larvae.

Oxitec’s lab workers manually remove modified females, aiming to release only males, which don’t bite for blood like females do. The modified males then mate with wild females whose offspring die, reducing the population. Oxitec has built a breeding lab in Marathon and hopes to release its mosquitoes in a Key West neighborhood this spring

via Millions of GMO insects could be released in Florida Keys.

How Vaccines Have Changed Our World April 1, 2013

Posted by tkcollier in Enviroment, health, Science & Technology.
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The data in this graphic come from the web site of the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, but a graphic designer in Purchase, N.Y., named Leon Farrant has created a graphic that drives home what the data mean.

Below is a look at the past morbidity (how many people became sick) of what were once very common infectious diseases, and the current morbidity in the U.S.

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via How Vaccines Have Changed Our World In One Graphic – Forbes.

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