GM Mosquito Trial Alarms Opponents, Strains Ties in Gates-Funded Project

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Science  19 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6007, pp. 1030-1031
DOI: 10.1126/science.330.6007.1030

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At a press conference in London on 11 November, British company Oxitec announced that it carried out the world's first small trial with transgenic Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Grand Cayman in the fall of 2009, followed by a larger study there last summer. Oxitec chief scientist Luke Alphey also presented the unpublished results—which he declared a "complete success"—at a meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in Atlanta a week earlier. The announcement has taken aback opponents of GM mosquitoes and surprised many researchers in the field of genetic control of insect vectors. And some say that staying mum was a strategic mistake that provides critics with fresh ammunition.