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At least 3 dead in grenade attack in Bujumbura

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Inequality, sexism and the movie industry

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Sienna Miller on motherhood, her new movies and Cannes glamour

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After the Fall of Ramadi, Palmyra: Did the West Underestimate the Jihadists?

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THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Migrants and Immigrants: A Global Crisis

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Behind the scenes of French gastronomy

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EYE ON AFRICA

Protests continue in Burundi as calls mount for election delay

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EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi: Nkurunziza delays parliamentary polls as clashes continue

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EYE ON AFRICA

At least two killed in fresh protests in Bujumbura

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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 Saturday at 6.10 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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