Brazilian scientist are taking preemptive measures for this summer’s upcoming World Cup that the country will be hosting. The Aedes aegyptin mosquito is the carrier of the dengue fever, and the disease can spread more easily because the bugs bite during the day. To protect visitors, the scientist have created a genetic mutation for this species with an incomplete set of DNA. They will inject the mutation into the male adults so that when they breed, the next generation of mosquitoes will have the incomplete set of DNA and before they reach sexual maturity, will die, preventing them from reproducing and killing off that generation.
Trials performed by the biotech company heading the experiment have shown a 90% reduction of the aegyptin species. There are still some concerns with the revolutionary way of eradicating the disease, however. For instance, what happens if the female mosquito inherits the gene and infects humans it bites, or what might happen if the mosquitoes inherit the genetic mutation but don’t die from it. Whatever is in store for these bugs might be just as interesting as who will bring home the World Cup.