Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French presidential election: Over 40% remain undecided

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

ICC orders Congo warlord germain Katanga to pay victims

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trumpcare Falls Before First Hurdle

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Westminster Attack, Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obamacare, Europe's Unholy Alliances, Martin McGuinness (part 2)

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Export bans hit Brazil amid tainted meat scandal

Read more

#TECH 24

Inside Netflix's war room

Read more

FOCUS

French Catholic voters remain faithful to scandal-hit Fillon

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Growing ambitions: The forces driving India's economy

Read more

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

COMMENT(S)

Archives

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

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...

Read more

2017-01-31 environment

Making the ultimate sacrifice for the planet

All over the planet, environmental activists put their lives on the line - to save a tree, stop the construction of a dam or an airport. In 2015, 185 environmental activists were...

Read more

2017-01-23 France

France's nuclear strategy: Full speed ahead, for now

Built in 1977, France's oldest nuclear plant should never have celebrated its 40th birthday. François Hollande promised voters and his Green party allies that if elected, he...

Read more