This Lab Provides Birth Control for Male Mosquitoes
Mosquitos aren’t merely a nuisance. The insects spread a potentially deadly tropical disease called dengue. According to the World Health Organization, dengue is a threat to about half the world’s population and is the leading cause of serious illness and death in some Asian and Latin American countries. The incidence of dengue has also been increasing globally, with over 3.2 million cases reported in 2015. Dr. David Du, co-founder of Singapore startup Orinno Technology, is working with Singapore’s National Environment Agency to combat the health crisis by lowering the mosquito population. Using new technology, including a larvae dispensing system—aka mosquito sorter—that divides pupae based on gender, Dr. Du is breeding male mosquitoes and tampering with their ability to mate successfully. NOTE: This story was filmed prior to the coronavirus pandemic. Great Big Story encourages everyone to stay safe and continue to social distance. This Great Big Story was made possible by Singapore Tourism Board, Enterprise Singapore, and the Singapore Economic Development Board.