For the past six years, researchers at the University of Texas have been working on an algae they feel can change the mosquito population.
Molecular Biology Professor David Herrin and his team have engineered several synthetic genes that produce proteins. The plan is simple: Herrin and his team want to place algae to kill mosquitoes.
"This could stop Zika, West Nile, and other viruses," Herrin said.
The algae attacks the mosquito's digestive tract and it works fairly fast, with the mosquitoes dying within 24-48 hours. Herrin said it's effective against most mosquito species in the U.S.
"The more algae it eats, the better it is, and the faster it's going to die," Herrin said.
So far, Herrin said the mosquitoes will not develop a resistance to this algae, however that could change. Herrin and his team are working on the project with a $150,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health.
Herrin also said more money is needed to complete another variation on the gene. He added the new gene could target even more mosquitoes.
Herrin hopes to have the algae available to the public in 2017.