Tuesday, March 20, 2007

GM mosquitoes to defeat malaria

A few of the papers today mention the latest progress on creating genetically modified mosquitoes to defeat malaria. See for instance this front page headline article in today's Guardian. Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Imperial College have been testing the new breed of mosquitoes, and have so far found success. The GM mosquitoes have their genes modified so they cannot carry the plasmodium parasite. The idea is that they would be released (in their millions) to quickly become the dominant species. Trials in West Africa are feasible within five years, should the scientists prove that a) the risk of creating a new superstrain of the parasite is minimised and b) the parasite does not switch to other carrier animals.

Of course, a focus on sewage and sanitation systems in Sub-Saharan Africa would also do much to destroy the parasite's effectiveness.


Bitchy 12:31 am  

I know malaria kills millions of people, but GM mosquitoes? Seriously? What next? GM bees that make honey but don't sting?

Tasteless GM giant tomatoes are bad enough thank you very much

Vanilla,  1:20 am  

I heard this on this news in the morning (half asleep). I thought it was one of those bad dreams...

Am not a scientist, but why do they want to create a GM mosquito? Whose brilliant idea? Not even the brightest scientist can control or predict mutations.

What if these mosquitos are released and then something goes horribly wrong like a superstrain (they mention, the risk is minimised). Its not like recalling an item with a fault.

Developing countries have enough problems with disease and do not need this kind of mass experimentation.
I wonder if Malaria existed in developed countries if this experiment would even be considered, let alone funded.
What is happening with the superbugs in hospitals for example in the UK. Are they planning on introducing other superbugs that do not cause MRSA?

There are still so many unanswered questions about GM foods and what they do to humans and the soil.

Surely there must be other interventions that can be used.

What happened to Dolly the Sheep? I know it seems irrelevant to this discussion

sennyb,  3:06 pm  

i think Dolly died...

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