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Google’s Plan To Eliminate Mosquitoes

Google is now using sterilized mosquitoes to fight the Zika virus, dengue fever and many other diseases.

Verily, formerly known as Google Life Sciences, has built a robot that can raise one million mosquitoes a week and they are using it to produce male mosquitoes that have been infected with a sterilizing bacteria.

The company has just started releasing these sterile mosquitoes in Fresno County. Their plan is to release one million male mosquitoes a week for 20 consecutive weeks.

These modified mosquitoes were originally created 15 years ago by Steven Dobson, of Kentucky-based Mosquito Mate, Inc. He did this by injecting newly laid mosquito eggs with Wolbachia, using a tiny needle. Wolbachia, a type of bacteria, doesn’t infect humans and it can’t be transmitted through an insect bite.

Female mosquitoes bite, the males don’t. That is why Verily has created an automated sex-sorting process to lower the risk that females do not end up in the mix.

The sterile males are released in a problem area to mate with female mosquitoes in the wild. The resulting eggs will not hatch and that is how they are able to reduce the mosquito population.

These modified mosquitoes are regulated by the EPA, and the agency