Biotech male diamondback moths developed by Oxitec in the lab will be
released in upstate New York as part of field testing. The biotech moths
carry a "time bomb" gene that kills offspring, thus decreasing the usage of
pesticides to control the insect pest. Diamondback moths have caused
billions of dollars of crop damage yearly.
Over the next months, before winter kills the moths, Cornell University
researchers will observe how the biotech moths perform when exposed to its
wild cousins. If the testing leads to positive results, it could be a good
step towards the commercialization of biotech moths.