August 13, 2014 | Rohan

We all find flies annoying, but to farmers they're a serious pest, infesting over 300 crop varieties worldwide.

Researchers in Oxford have a solution, but it's controversial. They genetically modify fruit flies so they only produce male offspring, leading to a population collapse. The researchers want government approval to release some of these GM insects, in an attempt to reduce local fruit fly populations.

So long as it doesn't upset the food chain I'm all for this. Food scarcity is a real problem in some parts of the world and ideas like this could help.


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Fruit fly

GM flies produced by researchers have 'pre-pupal female lethality', meaning only male flies can reach the breeding stage.


Image: US Department of Agriculture

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