Topics: After Mosquitos, Moths Are the Next Target For. - D-brief

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Though genetically modified crops may steal the spotlight, similarly reprogrammed insects may have just as big an effect on the agricultural industry.

Biotechnology company Oxitec is moving forward with plans to develop genetically engineered diamondback moths in an attempt to reduce populations of the invasive crop pest. Their plan is to release males that will pass on a gene preventing female offspring from reaching maturity and reproducing, which they say will eventually eradicate the moths in North America. Tests have so far been positive, although there are still worries about the prospect of releasing genetically modified organisms into the wild.

Currently, pesticides are used to control the moths, which are responsible for an estimated $5 billion worth of damage every year in the U.S. An invasive species, the diamondback moth originated in Europe, but has proved difficult to control since appearing the U.S. due to short gestation times and the large numbers of eggs females lay at once. Oxitec says that their technique is preferable to pesticides, as the moths have proven capable of evolving resistance to the compounds in the past, and most carry some risk to the environment and human health.

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E.g. subreddit:aww site:imgur.com dog. see the search faq for details.. Target rich environment. submitted 19 days ago by aznmistborn. 14 comments; share;