What is Debug?

Bad mosquitoes spread disease. Good mosquitoes can stop them. Debug is a group of scientists and engineers developing technology to rear and release sterile mosquitoes to eliminate the ones that carry disease.

How are you making it happen?

We’re combining Verily’s scientific and engineering expertise with the help of international partners to rear and release sterile male mosquitoes, which do not bite or breed, with the goal of stopping the spread of mosquitoes that carry disease. This approach is called the sterile insect technique (SIT), and our chosen method uses mosquitoes that have a naturally-occurring bacteria called Wolbachia that renders released males unable to have viable offspring with wild female mosquitoes. Our team is developing new technologies that combine sensors, algorithms and novel engineering to raise millions of these sterile mosquitoes and quickly and accurately sort them for release in the wild. We’re also building software and monitoring tools to guide mosquito releases and new sensors, traps and software to better determine which areas need to be treated and re-treated.

We’re currently developing our technologies and methods to target Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, the primary vector of dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever. Forty percent of the world is at risk of contracting a disease spread by Aedes aegypti. We’re partnering closely with scientists, communities, and governments as we move toward field trials. After receiving official and community approval we will begin releases of sterile males to show that we can significantly reduce or possibly eliminate the local population of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes.

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