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How to Stop Ebola: Center for Disease Control Confirms First Case of Virus in US

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I will support Hillary Clinton, will.i.am tells France 24

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Germany: Spread of radical Islam propaganda sparks concerns

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Corrie Nielsen: Up and Coming Talent at Paris Fashion Week

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French Senate election: A new blow for Hollande

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Encore's Film Show: Julie Gayet, Denzel Washington, and cartoon madness

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Turkey's strategy towards the Islamic State group

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France defends deficit reduction delay in 2015 budget

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'France is sinking!'

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We travel across the globe and meet the people behind the most fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. Every other Sunday at 8.40 pm.

DOWN TO EARTH

DOWN TO EARTH

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

2014-09-21 environment

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Rising sea levels are an inevitable consequence of global warming. Scientific research indicates that sea levels worldwide have been rising at a rate of 0.14 inches (3.5...

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2014-06-22 water

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Tiny plastic particles, barely visible, are infecting the world's sea and oceans, where they're being eaten by fish and other aquatic species before making their way up the food...

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2014-06-09 technology

Biomimicry: Hacking nature

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2014-05-25 technology

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This week, Down to Earth explores Japan's efforts to embrace robots to fill the gap left by a growing shortage of manpower.It's no secret that Japan is facing a demographic...

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2014-05-11 Sustainable development

Japan: Fukushima fallout

It's more than three years since an earthquake and tsunami crippled Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant and authorities are still battling to contain the fallout.

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