Fighting the Zika Virus using Genetically Modified Mosquitos

Today in Health Tech - Fighting the Zika Virus using Genetically Modified Mosquitos & Human Trials to Reverse Aging

Its #AnotherWeek, and we’re back with more science & technology news with lots of #MondayMotivation! Let’s get started with the latest for today.

Fighting the Zika Virus using Genetically Modified Mosquitos

Oxitec, an England-based biotechnology company that develops genetically modified insects to assist with insect control, has just been given approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to release genetically-modified Aedes Aegypti mosquitos in Florida to prevent the spread of harmful diseases, such as Dengue and Zika.

The FDA is releasing for public comment a draft environmental assessment (EA) submitted by Oxitec, Ltd., that assesses the potential environmental impacts of a field trial of the company’s genetically engineered (GE) Aedes aegypti mosquitoes (OX513A) in Key Haven, Florida. Ae. aegypti is known to transmit potentially debilitating human viral diseases, including Zika, dengue, yellow fever and chikungunya,” states, “The FDA is also releasing a preliminary finding of no significant impact (FONSI) that agrees with the draft EA’s conclusion that the field trial of such GE mosquitoes will not result in significant impacts on the environment.”

“We’ve been developing this approach for many years, and from these results we are convinced that our solution is both highly effective and has sound environmental credentials,” says Hadyn Parry, CEO of Oxitec, “We’re delighted with the announcement today that the FDA, after their extensive review of our dossier and thousands of public comments for a trial in the Florida Keys, have published their final view that this will not have a significant impact on the environment. We are now looking forward to working with the community in the Florida Keys moving forward.”

Human Trials to Reverse Aging through Blood Transfusions Begin

We cover the possibilities of science achieving reverse aging in the near future, because (who knows?), some day it might be possible to look younger with time. But, California-based Ambrosia plans to infuse 600 people above the age of 35 with blood from younger participants (16-25 years) to test whether reverse aging is possible or not.

Standing on the shoulders of giants, the biotechnology company implemented a research published in 2014, in which older mice actually benefit from infused blood from younger mice. After the results were published, research lead Tony Wyss-Coray discovered he had stumbled onto something interesting.

“Alzheimer’s patients wanted infusions of young blood. So did numerous aged billionaires. One, who flies around in a jet with his name emblazoned on the side, invited Wyss-Coray to an Oscars after-party this year. (He didn’t go.) Another correspondent wrote with a more disturbing offer: he said he could provide blood from children of whatever age the scientists required,” he remarked.

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