Dr Luke Alphey, Oxitec
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GM flies tested 'one step at a time'

A UK biotechnology company has applied for permission to carry out the first field trial in Europe of a genetically modified insect.

If it receives approval, the company, Oxitec, will carry out a small-scale test of GM olive flies in Spain.

The aim is to combat this olive crop pest by releasing male flies that have a "female-killing gene". If the GM flies can outbreed the wild flies, the female offspring will die - reducing the olive fly population.

The technology was created by the co-founder and chief scientific officer at Oxitec, Dr Luke Alphey. Here, he explains the aim of the planned field trials.

  • 20 Nov 2013
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