National Technical Commission for Biosecurity approves Oxitec mosquito for use in Brazil | Vaccine News Daily

{Nature is not a machine and cannot be fooled by humans – when the new dengue comes – Oxitec will just say… Oops?}

Oxitec announced on Thursday that the National Technical Commission for Biosecurity approved the commercial release of its genetically modified mosquito in Brazil to control dengue fever.

The Oxitec mosquito is a strain of the wild Aedes aegypti species that was modified to contain two additional genes. The added genes cause mosquitoes to die before they become functional adults.

The male mosquitoes are released to mate with wild female mosquitoes and pass the genes to their offspring. The genetically modified mosquitoes have a marker that is visible with a special light, which will aid field monitoring and help ensure the mosquito control programs are successful.

“In recent years, our technology has been attracting a great deal of attention from dengue endemic countries worldwide and CTNBio’s technical opinion will be very helpful for other countries considering whether to evaluate this for their own circumstances,” Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry said. “We feel that the beneficial environmental profile, coupled with excellent efficacy to date, make the Oxitec mosquito a valuable new tool for health authorities around the world to complement their existing efforts in tackling the mosquitoes that spread dengue fever.”

The A. aegypti mosquito is the main vector of dengue, and is known for being difficult to control. In several trials, the Oxitec males have proved to significantly reduce the wild population of dengue mosquitoes.

via National Technical Commission for Biosecurity approves Oxitec mosquito for use in Brazil | Vaccine News Daily.

IRIN Africa | Fears in Cameroon of Boko Haram recruitment | Cameroon | Conflict | Economy | Security

{Boko Haram – just another criminal for-profit extremist militia? – seems so}

Nigeria’s extremist Islamist group Boko Haram are believed to be actively recruiting fighters across the border in Cameroon’s Far North Region, according to residents and local government officials.

More than 100 suspected Boko Haram fighters and preachers (the latter presumed to have links with the group), have been arrested in Far North Region since 2012, but many have been released due to lack of evidence, according to a local security official.

via IRIN Africa | Fears in Cameroon of Boko Haram recruitment | Cameroon | Conflict | Economy | Security.

Retro-“Plantations” and Chain-gangs… A Disturbing Trend in Agriculture: Prisoner-Picked Vegetables | TakePart

Lodge’s bill is one of many similar measures introduced across the country in the last 10 years. From Vidalia onions in Georgia to watermelons in Arizona to apples in Washington to the potatoes of southern Idaho, prisoners are increasingly called on to harvest the food Americans eat.

via A Disturbing Trend in Agriculture: Prisoner-Picked Vegetables | TakePart.

Israeli forces clash with worshipers in Aqsa compound, dozens hurt | Maan News Agency

Dozens of worshipers were hurt Wednesday morning in fierce clashes with Israeli forces who stormed the al-Aqsa Mosque compound via the Moroccan and Chain gates.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli soldiers and police officers broke into the compound and deployed in the southern quarter firing stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at worshipers.

Director of al-Aqsa Mosque Sheikh Azam al-Kahtib told Ma’an that “about 1,000 Israeli officers stormed the compound.” He highlighted that Israeli officers used live ammunition.

Special forces deployed at the main gates since dawn prayer, witnesses said, denying Palestinian worshipers entry to the compound.

Employees of the ministry of endowment and students who attend schools inside the compound were also denied entry. Only security guards were allowed in addition to men over 65 years old. Several people performed dawn prayer in the alleys near the gates.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP that Palestinians threw “stones and firecrackers” at police when they opened the walled compound’s gates.

Police responded with stun grenades, Rosenfeld said, and closed the complex to Jewish visitors after a small number had toured the site.

via Israeli forces clash with worshipers in Aqsa compound, dozens hurt | Maan News Agency.