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originally posted by: concerned190
Weren't genetically modified mosquitos released in Brazil not to terribly long ago?
The Zika virus outbreak currently gripping the Americas could have been sparked by the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in 2012, critics say.
The insects were engineered by biotechnology experts to combat the spread of dengue fever and other diseases and released into the general population of Brazil in 2012.
But with the World Health Organisation(WHO) now meeting in Geneva to desperately discuss cures for the Zika virus, speculation has mounted as to the cause of this sudden outbreak.
The Zika virus was first discovered in the 1950s but the recent outbreak has escalated alarmingly, causing birth defects and a range of health problems in South and central America.
The first cases were reported in Brazil last May with up to 1.5 million now thought people affected by the virus which is spread by mosquitoes endemic to Latin America.
In Brazil's microcephaly epidemic, one vital question remains unanswered: how did the Zika virus suddenly learn how to disrupt the development of human embryos? The answer may lie in a sequence of 'jumping DNA' used to engineer the virus's mosquito vector - and released into the wild four years ago in the precise area of Brazil where the microcephaly crisis is most acute. www.theecologist.org...
"it was found that [researchers] had used a cat food to feed the [OX513A] larvae and this cat food contained chicken. It is known that tetracycline is routinely used to prevent infections in chickens, especially in the cheap, mass produced, chicken used for animal food. The chicken is heat-treated before being used, but this does not remove all the tetracycline. This meant that a small amount of tetracycline was being added from the food to the larvae and repressing the [designed] lethal system."
So in other words, there is every possibility for Oxitec's modified genes to persist in wild populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitos, especially in the environmental presence of tetracycline which is widely present in sewage, septic tanks, contaminated water sources and farm runoff.