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EYE ON AFRICA

At least two dead in anti-electoral commission protest in Kenya

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MEDIAWATCH

Far-right thwarted in Austrian election

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THE DEBATE

Getting warmer: Far-right edged in Austria presidential election (part 1)

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THE DEBATE

Getting warmer: Far-right edged in Austria presidential election (part 2)

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THE INTERVIEW

Former French health minister: 'We have to reform the WHO'

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FOCUS

Tunisia steps up security measures to reassure tourists

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ENCORE!

Video: Ken Loach wins his second Palme d'Or in Cannes

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TALKING EUROPE

Yannick Jadot: 'Europe has a moral and legal responsibility to welcome migrants'

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TALKING EUROPE

Tackling global corruption: Hard talk, soft action?

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We travel to meet the people behind fascinating environmental, health and technological innovations in a bid for sustainable solutions to our changing world. 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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Archives

2016-05-13 Senegal

Senegal: Lighting the way for off-grid communities

In this new episode of "Down to Earth", we head to Senegal, where only three out of five households have access to electricity.

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2016-05-02 fashion

Fast fashion: Wearing the world out

Unlike other industries, the price of clothing has gone down over the last few decades, but at what cost?

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2016-04-15 agriculture

Feeding the city: An urban food challenge

The world’s population is set to rise to 10 billion by 2050 and the large majority will live in cities. It means fewer resources to be shared among many. So how will we feed...

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2016-04-01 Zika virus

Zika threat: Solving the global puzzle

In a matter of months the Zika virus has gone from a relatively unknown ailment to what the World Health Organization now calls a "global emergency". The mosquito-borne virus is...

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2016-03-29 Famine

A world full of food and hunger

In this new season of Down to Earth, we look at the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development: 17 objectives to make the world a fairer, healthier and better place to live by...

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