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Researchers Hope to Curb Mosquito-Borne Diseases in Hawaiʻi

Wikipedia Commons
Wikipedia Commons

The Environmental Protection Agency is funding a biotech project to curb mosquito-borne diseases here in the islands.

University of California, San Diego researcher Omar Akbari will travel to Hawaiʻi Island next month to lay the groundwork for a $750,000 project aimed at producing lab-generated sterile mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti variety.

He hopes to use gene editing to one day knock down their populations in Hawaiʻi. These day-biters are vectors that carry diseases like dengue and Zika. Akbari, a professor of cell and developmental biology, spoke to The Conversation about his research on sterile mosquitoes.

This interview aired on The Conversation on Aug. 5, 2021.

Catherine Cruz is the host of The Conversation. Originally from Guam, she spent more than 30 years at KITV, covering beats from government to education. Contact her at ccruz@hawaiipublicradio.org.
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