The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District in association with British biotech firm Oxitec planned to release 5,000 to 10,000 genetically altered mosquitoes -- the Aedes aegypti species that can transmit dengue fever -- that have been specifically bred to produce offspring that die young. Dengue produces flu-like symptoms that can be fatal. The plan send viral waves across the nation and people signed online signatures to a petition against the mosquito-control plan, which was relentlessly ticking toward 101,000 names. However, the release of the genetically altered bugs was postponed for an indefinite period. No federal or state agency has been willing to consider issuing a permit that allows the release of genetically modified creatures in an urban environment.
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