In order to crack the whip on mosquito-borne lethal diseases such as dengue, chikungunya and Zika, Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. has embarked on an interesting project. Verily Life Sciences, a research organization run by Alphabet, is overlooking the project in which thousands of male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes will be infected with Wolbachia, a common bacterium, and then let loose in the open.
The organization is aiming to infect around 80,000 lab-bred male mosquitoes with Wolbachia. When these mosquitoes mate with their female counterparts in the wild, and when the females lay eggs, the eggs won’t hatch. In essence, there will be stealth annihilation, which means despite the female mosquitoes laying eggs, the eggs would not hatch and produce further offspring. This would considerably reduce the mosquito population.
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes hail from Africa but are now found in tropical regions in more than 120 countries.