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Mosquito-killing Algae

July 23, 2016

KEYE-TV reports on researchers at the University of Texas developing a natural way to stop virus-transmitting mosquitoes from breeding, using biologically engineered algae to kill their larvae. The algae can live in ponds without harming other wildlife — but it will stop the mosquitoes carrying Zika and West Nile in their tracks.

Dr. David Herrin, professor of molecular bio-sciences at UT Austin, along with two others, have biologically engineered the green algae chlamydomonas to kill mosquito larvae. “It’s about the only toxin that mosquitoes can’t develop resistance to,” Dr. Herrin says. “The active ingredient is harmless to humans and wildlife. It’s safe for using in drinking water.”

Ideally people could add the algae to ponds, or standing water in the spring and it would last through one mosquito season.

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