Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released

Photo: Alvesgaspar (CC)

Photo: Alvesgaspar (CC)

I have a bad feeling about this — how long before the scientists say “Sorry, we didn’t think that was possible” when the mosquitoes mutate into something deadly to humans…? From the happily hyperbolic Daily Mail:

Malaysia has released 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes into a forest in the first experiment of its kind in Asia aimed at curbing dengue fever.

The field test is meant to pave the way for the official use of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes to mate with females and produce offspring with shorter lives, thus curtailing the population.

Only female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread dengue fever, which killed 134 people in Malaysia last year.

However, the plan has sparked criticism by some Malaysian environmentalists, who fear it might have unforeseen consequences, such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes.

Critics also say such plans could leave a vacuum in the ecosystem that is then filled by another insect species, potentially introducing new diseases.

A similar trial in the Cayman Islands last year — the first time genetically modified mosquitoes have been set loose in the wild after years of laboratory experiments and hypothetical calculations – resulted in a dramatic drop in the mosquito population in a small area studied by researchers.

Government authorities have tried to allay the concerns by saying they are conducting small-scale research and will not rush into any widespread release of mosquitoes…

[continues in the Daily Mail]

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  • Judy Dc

    Oh nothing could go wrong here….

  • Magpie26

    Oh nothing could go wrong here….

  • Belcat

    So you have this population of mosquitoes that is less hardy than the rest, so they are likely to be kicked out by the incumbents over time. So in order to keep that from happening, you have to keep pumping out more genetically modified mosquitoes. How long before someone screws up? What is the shorter lifespan means they breed more to compensate? Or are more frenzied to get to their meals?… I wish them good luck, and I’m glad it’s not happening here, because if it got out of control, well, it would be a mess we’d have to live with.

  • Belcat

    So you have this population of mosquitoes that is less hardy than the rest, so they are likely to be kicked out by the incumbents over time. So in order to keep that from happening, you have to keep pumping out more genetically modified mosquitoes. How long before someone screws up? What is the shorter lifespan means they breed more to compensate? Or are more frenzied to get to their meals?… I wish them good luck, and I’m glad it’s not happening here, because if it got out of control, well, it would be a mess we’d have to live with.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/ItsHowie Howard Ferrer

    Doesn’t shorter mosquito lifespan mean that every animal that eats mosquitoes will have a shorter lifespan as well? All this overt 134 deaths? So is it shorter lifespan or sterile?

    Watch the discovery channel or animal planet. when theres a gazelle drinking out of a water hole and a crocodile wants to bite his face off, we watch and let it happen, because we dont want to RUIN THE DELICATE BALANCE, but when some human gets infected with dengue, we genetically alter the entire population? What a crock of hypocritical sh!t.

    I hope it creates a monster that eradicates us. then we can sit at home and watch it happen like on the discovery channel with a ticker running constantly on the screen that says “GMO’s killed you – Thank the government – Fascist corporatism rules – You are sheep”

  • GBSS

    Doesn’t shorter mosquito lifespan mean that every animal that eats mosquitoes will have a shorter lifespan as well? All this overt 134 deaths? So is it shorter lifespan or sterile?

    Watch the discovery channel or animal planet. when theres a gazelle drinking out of a water hole and a crocodile wants to bite his face off, we watch and let it happen, because we dont want to RUIN THE DELICATE BALANCE, but when some human gets infected with dengue, we genetically alter the entire population? What a crock of hypocritical sh!t.

    I hope it creates a monster that eradicates us. then we can sit at home and watch it happen like on the discovery channel with a ticker running constantly on the screen that says “GMO’s killed you – Thank the government – Fascist corporatism rules – You are sheep”

    • Zel

      Couldn’t have said it better :)

    • Addy771

      We’ll see how much of a smartass you are when you get dengue from a mosquito

      • Anonymous

        more people die from the flu, moron.

    • 5y9h3r

      Well said man, keep natures balance not fuck it up like we humans usually do to everything else. :(

    • disaster

      “Thank the government – Fascist corporatism rules – You are sheep”

      Chill you’re hate man….first of all it’s in Malaysia, not America. Secondly, because other organisms may consume these mosquitos as nutrition, because they have a shorter life-span doesn’t thereby inflict a shorter life-span on the predator of said shorter-life-span mosquito. They will supplement another organism for the more sparse mosquitos.

      Stop watching TV and take a biology class.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Its ok! if we have an overrun of mosquitos, we’ll just drop tons of genetically modified lizards with quicker reflexes to enhance their mosquito eating abilities.

  • http://hormeticminds.blogspot.com/ Chaorder Gradient

    Its ok! if we have an overrun of mosquitos, we’ll just drop tons of genetically modified lizards with quicker reflexes to enhance their mosquito eating abilities.

  • Bud Bundy

    At least we can’t blame America. OR CAN WE?

    This week on can we BLAME AMERICA, we focus on.. spin the wheel!

    Support of foreign Puppy Mills!

    Wait… What the hell does that have to do with anything?

  • Bud Bundy

    At least we can’t blame America. OR CAN WE?

    This week on can we BLAME AMERICA, we focus on.. spin the wheel!

    Support of foreign Puppy Mills!

    Wait… What the hell does that have to do with anything?

  • http://slrman.wordpress.com/ James Smith

    So someone tell me. Exactly what are the benefits of mosquitoes to the ecosystem.Is there any other creature that depends exclusively on mosquitoes for food? Not even the Purple Martin bird does that.

    Furthermore, if the pest population declines, their predators will adapt to other food sources. It’s called “evolution”. Even if you don’t believe in it, it’s still a fact. As is survival of the most adaptable. I say eradicate every mosquito on earth. No one will be the worse for it.

  • Anonymous

    So someone tell me. Exactly what are the benefits of mosquitoes to the ecosystem.Is there any other creature that depends exclusively on mosquitoes for food? Not even the Purple Martin bird does that.

    Furthermore, if the pest population declines, their predators will adapt to other food sources. It’s called “evolution”. Even if you don’t believe in it, it’s still a fact. As is survival of the most adaptable. I say eradicate every mosquito on earth. No one will be the worse for it.

  • Zel

    Couldn’t have said it better :)

  • Addy771

    We’ll see how much of a smartass you are when you get dengue from a mosquito

  • Addy771

    We’ll see how much of a smartass you are when you get dengue from a mosquito

  • Kuuuuuuuhn

    Already been done. Note how it says “first experiment of its kind in Asia”.

    It’s similar to a technique that even has its own name and Wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterile_insect_technique
    though this other technique doesn’t always cause genetic modification.

    Also, genetic engineering doesn’t give magical mutagenic powers like you all see when you watch your saturday morning superhero cartoons.

    What we should be asking is: is this method better than the use of pesticides?

  • Kuuuuuuuhn

    Already been done. Note how it says “first experiment of its kind in Asia”.

    It’s similar to a technique that even has its own name and Wikipedia page:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sterile_insect_technique
    though this other technique doesn’t always cause genetic modification.

    Also, genetic engineering doesn’t give magical mutagenic powers like you all see when you watch your saturday morning superhero cartoons.

    What we should be asking is: is this method better than the use of pesticides?

    • Belcat

      The page talks most of doing it with radiation treatments, making them sterile. In some ways this might be safer because they just die. If some mutations happen though (mainly because you have to do this to thousands), you are back in the same mess.

      There is a little burb in the middle of the page about doing it with genetics but it untried.

  • look of disapproval

    “how long before the scientists say “Sorry, we didn’t think that was possible” when the mosquitoes mutate into something deadly to humans…?”

    ಠ_ಠ

  • look of disapproval

    “how long before the scientists say “Sorry, we didn’t think that was possible” when the mosquitoes mutate into something deadly to humans…?”

    ಠ_ಠ

  • Forandb

    Now Hollywood is going to pick up on this. Mosquito infects human. Human turns into a mad scientist that is bent on conquering the world by genetic globalization !

  • Forandb

    Now Hollywood is going to pick up on this. Mosquito infects human. Human turns into a mad scientist that is bent on conquering the world by genetic globalization !

  • Jesus

    Well it worked when the Bred African bees with Honey bees…oh wait

  • Jesus

    Well it worked when the Bred African bees with Honey bees…oh wait

  • Jose luis

    The pseudo scientists who study in pseudo universities think they can make it better than Nature … sad. Nature took time (millions of years) to improve and make it all living things and most of them in constant mutations (natural ones) and some idiots backed by corporations (vide profits) think they can mutate and change Nature. It’s like those who believe in the “Murdochian” news. They are oblivious to the real thing. I hope these mosquitoes do not mutate in something nasty.

  • Jose luis

    The pseudo scientists who study in pseudo universities think they can make it better than Nature … sad. Nature took time (millions of years) to improve and make it all living things and most of them in constant mutations (natural ones) and some idiots backed by corporations (vide profits) think they can mutate and change Nature. It’s like those who believe in the “Murdochian” news. They are oblivious to the real thing. I hope these mosquitoes do not mutate in something nasty.

  • Toby

    This line is scientifically speaking, crackpot bullshit:
    “such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes”
    Sounds like they’re using genepool saturation to damage the population’s genetic fitness. I would rate it as an almost impossible long shot that this would happen. More likely some people would be spared the pain of losing a loved one to this terrible disease.
    I realise there will always be people who mistrust healthcare providers and anyone trying something new, paranoia exists as more of a spectrum than a condition you have or don’t; we’re all susceptible to it.
    Personally, I’d be more concerned about drugs that are designed to charge the individual and usually create a situation of maintenance therapy where patients pay for the rest of their lives for health. Genetic therapies and innovation are the enemy of drug companies and can provide REAL cures, not band-aids.

  • Toby

    This line is scientifically speaking, crackpot bullshit:
    “such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes”
    Sounds like they’re using genepool saturation to damage the population’s genetic fitness. I would rate it as an almost impossible long shot that this would happen. More likely some people would be spared the pain of losing a loved one to this terrible disease.
    I realise there will always be people who mistrust healthcare providers and anyone trying something new, paranoia exists as more of a spectrum than a condition you have or don’t; we’re all susceptible to it.
    Personally, I’d be more concerned about drugs that are designed to charge the individual and usually create a situation of maintenance therapy where patients pay for the rest of their lives for health. Genetic therapies and innovation are the enemy of drug companies and can provide REAL cures, not band-aids.

  • anonamous

    if you mess with the balance bad stuff will happen.

    its the butterfly effect , how stupid do you have to be.

  • anonamous

    if you mess with the balance bad stuff will happen.

    its the butterfly effect , how stupid do you have to be.

  • 5y9h3r

    Well said man, keep natures balance not fuck it up like we humans usually do to everything else. :(

  • Anonymous

    more people die from the flu, moron.

  • Belcat

    The page talks most of doing it with radiation treatments, making them sterile. In some ways this might be safer because they just die. If some mutations happen though (mainly because you have to do this to thousands), you are back in the same mess.

    There is a little burb in the middle of the page about doing it with genetics but it untried.

  • EVK

    someone who genetically alters a creature should be imprisoned

  • EVK

    someone who genetically alters a creature should be imprisoned

  • disaster

    “Thank the government – Fascist corporatism rules – You are sheep”

    Chill you’re hate man….first of all it’s in Malaysia, not America. Secondly, because other organisms may consume these mosquitos as nutrition, because they have a shorter life-span doesn’t thereby inflict a shorter life-span on the predator of said shorter-life-span mosquito. They will supplement another organism for the more sparse mosquitos.

    Stop watching TV and take a biology class.

  • disaster

    “Thank the government – Fascist corporatism rules – You are sheep”

    Chill you’re hate man….first of all it’s in Malaysia, not America. Secondly, because other organisms may consume these mosquitos as nutrition, because they have a shorter life-span doesn’t thereby inflict a shorter life-span on the predator of said shorter-life-span mosquito. They will supplement another organism for the more sparse mosquitos.

    Stop watching TV and take a biology class.

  • nic

    STAND UP TO GENETIC MUTATION PEOPLE!

    MOSQUITOES ARE THE NUMBER 2 POLLINATOR THAT MAKES EVERYTHING GROW

  • nic

    STAND UP TO GENETIC MUTATION PEOPLE!

    MOSQUITOES ARE THE NUMBER 2 POLLINATOR THAT MAKES EVERYTHING GROW

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