Google has a pretty insane plan for dealing with mosquito-borne illnesses, and it's a plan so crazy it just might work.
Google’s list of accomplishments is pretty long since its founding, and they’re hoping to add to that list with a crazy plan to get rid of the disease-spreading Aedes aegypti mosquito. It’s a plan that involves releasing 20 million new mosquitoes into Fresno, California.
Verily, which was formerly known as Google Life Sciences and is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet, Inc., plans to release 1 million male mosquitoes every week for 20 weeks. The plan, which is being executed in collaboration with Fresno’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District, aims to defeat the Aedes aegypti mosquito responsible for spreading the Zika virus, dengue, and a host of other nasty diseases.
The team has sterilized the males with a bacteria infection that occurs naturally in the population. That means that 20 million male suitors for the females out there won’t be able to reproduce, which should hopefully brings the mosquito down.
“Last October, we announced the Debug Project, an initiative at Verily to reduce the devastating global health impact that disease-carrying mosquitoes inflict on people around the world,” Verily said in a statement. “Today, I’m happy to announce the launch of Debug Fresno, our first field study in the U.S. to test a potential mosquito control method using sterile insect technique in collaboration with MosquitoMate and Fresno County’s Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District (CMAD).”