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]