Google-Backed Project Brings 20 Million Mosquitoes To Fresno
Last week it made national headlines: a company with ties to Google is releasing 20 million mosquitoes in Fresno. It might sound like a bad idea, but it's actually part of an innovative plan called "Debug Fresno" that aims to stop the local spread of the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can spread dengue fever and the zika virus. Verily Life Sciences, a division of Google's parent company Alphabet, Inc is working with Fresno's Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District on the project. It's the continuation of an effort launched on a much smaller scale last year, which Valley Public Radio previously reported. Steve Mulligan who runs the district joined us on Valley Edition today to explain that the 20,000,000 male mosquitoes won't bite, and are carrying the Wolbachia bacteria, which officials hope could help prevent them from reproducing. We also talked about how Google got involved with the project.