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South Africa : 20 children killed in a bus crash near Pretoria

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An Election in the Shadow of Terror

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How fintech is helping the unbanked

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FRANCE IN FOCUS

Turning up the heat with French firefighters

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Champs-Elysées attack: What impact on Sunday's French election? (part 1)

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

After Brexit and Trump: World waits on French presidential election (part 2)

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REPORTERS

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

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THE CAMPAIGN BEAT

After Champs-Élysées attack, security takes centre stage in election campaign

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PEOPLE & PROFIT

Brexit: Come what May

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DOWN TO EARTH

We meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Saturday at 7.20 pm. You can watch it online as early as Friday.

Latest update : 2013-07-15

Brazil's 'mutant' mosquitoes attack disease

Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes will be released in Brazil over the next few months under an ambitious approach to tackle dengue fever, the world's fastest spreading tropical disease. Scientists have added a gene to the dengue-spreading insect which renders it capable of destroying its own species.

This week the Down to Earth team visits Jacobina in the north east of Brazil, the first city in the world to trial this measure on a large scale.

The insects are bred in a nearby ‘mosquito factory’ where they’re fed animal blood and antibiotics before being unleashed as adults. An earlier pilot study showed that the wild population decreased by 85 percent in an area where GM mosquitoes were released. While Brazil is no stranger to food biotechnology, genetically modified animals are relatively new. Opponents warn that not enough tests have been done to measure the long term consequences of these mosquitoes on the ecosystem.

By Mairead DUNDAS , Marina BERTSCH , Emilie COCHAUD , Juliette LACHARNAY

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Archives

2017-04-11 water

Desalination to secure water supplies: A problematic solution?

One out of nine people in this world still don’t have access to safe drinking water, and a global water crisis is just around the corner. To solve the problem, more and more...

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2017-03-30 Renewable energy

Using 100% renewable energies: A distant dream or the near future?

Costa Rica spent seven months producing only renewable energies in 2016. If the Central American country can do it, why can't we all? In this episode of Down to Earth we look at...

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2017-03-15 Autolib

Electric cars: The ride of the future?

The future is racing towards electric cars. They’re getting greener, faster and more accessible by the day. Yet their impact on the environment is real – even before hitting the...

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2017-03-01 environment

The hidden pollution of the internet

The internet seems like a virtual world floating around us. But in fact, it’s right under our feet. Data centres, dependent on huge amounts of electricity, store our information...

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2017-02-15 environment

DIY: Zero Waste

Imagine a world without trash or landfills. Every year, 1.3 billion metric tons of municipal solid waste are thrown away around the world - and that number is expected to...

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