How is Google’s parent killing mosquitoes? - Letsdiskuss
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Royan Collins

CEO Digital U | Posted 29 Nov, 2018 |

How is Google’s parent killing mosquitoes?

Preeti Taneja

Entrepreneur | Posted 29 Nov, 2018

Mosquitoes kill 725,000 people every year, according to WHO. Among diseases that it spreads, it includes malaria and dengue. And these diseases are often linked to the everlasting poverty in Africa. (Mosquitoes bite people > they fall sick > treatment reduce their purchasing power > their health deteriorates > they can’t work > family income remains low > they get stuck in poverty trap.)
This is why there have been many initiatives around the world to control mosquitoes. Verily is one of the organizations that has been working in this area for quite some time. Verily is a research wing of Alphabet, the parent company of Google.

GOOGLE-MOSQUITOES-letsdiskuss (Courtesy: Daily Express)

People in Fresno County of California, among a few other places, have long struggled with mosquitos. In 2017, Verily started testing a new measure to get rid of the vermin. After one year, the result says there has been a 95% decrease in the mosquito population in selected areas for 2018.

The solution seems fairly simple and effective: Verily bred male mosquitoes in its ultra-tech automated rearing system. They then infected them with Wolbachia, a bacterium. These mosquitoes, which do not bite humans, were left in the open. They then mated with their female counterparts. The female mosquitoes lay infected eggs—and those eggs never hatch. So, the overall population of the mosquitoes, over a period, effectively gets controlled.

GOOGLE-MOSQUITOES-letsdiskuss (Courtesy: 9to5Google)

“In April 2018, we hatched the first batch of eggs, fuelled up the release vans, and embarked on a plan to conduct the world’s largest study of Wolbachia-based Sterile Insect Technique targeting Aedes Aegypti,” reads a blog post of Verily. “We are energized by what we achieved this year and look forward to bringing this technology to communities most burdened by Aedes Aegypti throughout the world,” it adds.

Indeed, the technique to control mosquitoes seems quite simple and effective. If only they can manage to tame the overall cost of the experiment, this can be a complete game-changer in the health sector across the world—in Asia and Africa in particular.

Kudos to Verily and Alphabet.

Now, wait, observe and see how the pharmaceutical companies, fearing a decline in their profits, will ploy propagandas alongside the corrupted politicians.