The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases

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© The International Society for Neglected Tropical Diseases 2014

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Biotech entrepreneur Hadyn Parry leads a science start-up that develops GM insects to fight dengue fever. 

 

In a single year, there are 200-300 million cases of malaria and 50-100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide. So: Why haven’t we found a way to effectively kill mosquitos yet? Hadyn Parry presents a fascinating solution: genetically engineering male mosquitos to make them sterile, and releasing the insects into the wild, to cut down on disease-carrying species.

 

Hadyn Parry

Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease

"We have reached a moment of truth," says biotech entrepreneur Hadyn Parry. He believes it's a pivotal time for the science industry and it's the moment for the public to wake up and rethink its position on GM technologies and trials. Parry, who is the CEO of Oxitec, a biotech company devoted to innovative insect control, believes the debate over GM crops and animals has become too political, and people are not stopping to evaluate the technologies' true promises and efficacies. In his eyes, GM can be used responsibly for important goals, like the control of extremely harmful diseases like dengue fever.