Scientists have developed a method for genetically modifying mosquitoes so that their offspring die before reaching adulthood. But science fiction fans already know where this could lead.
The results, and other work elsewhere, could herald an age in which genetically modified insects will be used to help control agricultural pests and insect-borne diseases like dengue fever and malaria. But the research is arousing concern about possible unintended effects on public health and the environment, because once genetically modified insects are released, they cannot be recalled.
Pest control authorities plan to test the program in the Florida Keys this winter.