Scientists working on genetically modified mosquitos

Feb 20, 2012
8

Mosquitos are a part of the planet's ecosystem. As annoying as they may be, don't plan on being in a world where we're able to just remove them entirely. But scientists have reportedly discovered a way where if you are bitten, the cause for concern could be considerably less than it is now. A bite is annoying, but the risk of malaria or dengue is much more serious, and that threat is the target of current genetic modification research that is underway.

The idea is this - scientists want to introduce genetically altered mosquitos into the planet. Those mosquitos are modified so that they can still function like their normal counterparts but do not contain harmful or infectious properties to humans. Those mosquitos could then breed with existing ones, and offspring would likewise be of little threat to humans or other affected animals. The research shows this is possible.

Of course, there is skepticism, and as anyone would expect there will always be parties that are concerned with releasing genetically modified creatures into the wild. The research on this latest mosquito project was compiled by the Public Library of Science, and shows that it is possible to create a modification that does not affect the natural order of things, while making the environment safer for humans.

[via Wired]


Tags
Must Read Bits & Bytes