Wolbachia: The ‘helpful alien’ in the fight against Mosquitoes
Ever taken a closer look at a mosquito? These tiny creatures visible to the eye, but require a closer look for detail are the culprits for spreading the worlds deadliest diseases. Their bug eyes, needle noses and bellies full of blood are enough to scare any of us away. So will it take a mutant version of this pest to stop Zika virus in its tracks?
In today’s world, you and I, along with any mosquito or virus, can hop a plane and get anywhere within less than 24 hours,” said Uriel Kitron, chairman of Emory University’s Department of Environmental Studies. “I always say the mosquito is not a great flier, but it’s a wonderful hitchhiker. So it’s very easy to reintroduce.” Which is why a growing number of scientists are touting the need for a “mutant mosquito,” a helpful Frankenstein designed to win the fight against these deadly females.
You can find out more in this video below about the ‘helpful alien’ Wolbachia, referred to in the above article.
Mosquitoes have a nasty reputation. The species Aedes aegypti, for example, is currently responsible for spreading the Zika virus through the Americas and also infects humans with dengue fever, chikungunya and yellow fever. This raises the question: Should there be an effort to get rid of Aedes aegypti for good?
It’s an interesting argument as to whether these critters should be wiped out for good, but in the meantime, do what you can to ensure you are fully protected from being on the menu this mosquito season.