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What are genetically modified mosquitoes?

Humans are plagued by Aedes aegypti and bone pain fever

By conant abramPublished 2 years ago 5 min read
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What are genetically modified mosquitoes?
Photo by Sergiy Tsyganenko on Unsplash

Humans have been suffering from Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and bone pain fever, struggling for many years, many years of effort, we finally saw a ray of light that can inhibit the growth of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - the release of genetically modified mosquitoes. However, not yet happy, some people say that genetically modified mosquitoes can harm the natural ecology. Look at the positive and negative side of each side of the word, the public can only open their eyes and feel the head, but can not figure it out! In the end, the release of genetically modified mosquitoes is good or bad?

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are everywhere, as long as a little careless, they will take the opportunity to invade your range of life, who may be Aedes aegypti mosquitoes zap and suffer from bone pain and fever. What is more worrying is that there is still no medicine or vaccine to deal with Aedes aegypti, and there is no way to eliminate Aedes aegypti (including Aedes aegypti and Asian tiger mosquitoes). Just when we are at our wits' end, the good news of effective suppression of Aedes aegypti (the main vector mosquito transmitting bone pain fever) by releasing genetically modified mosquitoes has arrived. In a few years, countries such as Malaysia, where toxic mosquitoes breed, have been stocked with genetically modified mosquitoes.

Oxitec in Oxford, England, the successful development of genetically modified Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes, has received the attention of many countries. Since the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Cayman Island after the experiment, more global attention. Cayman Island is located in the Caribbean Sea British islands, the Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac consist of. Between May and October 2010, scientists released genetically modified mosquitoes three times a week in an area of 160 square kilometers (22 soccer fields) on Cayman Island.

In five months, they stocked a total of 3 million GM mosquitoes. According to local authorities in August, the mosquito population in the area where the GM mosquitoes were stocked was 80 percent lower compared to nearby areas. However, the NGO Third World Network senior researcher Lin Li Zhen pointed out that, as of now, there are still many uncertainties in the experiment, many details are not disclosed, can not be fully confirmed that the experiment can reduce the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes and harmless to humans. The most puzzling thing is that the authorities announced that the experiment was conducted on Grand Cayman almost a year after the experiment. As a result, there was strong discontent from all walks of life that they were deliberately withholding details, and the debate continues to this day.

So, what exactly is a genetically modified mosquito? A genetically modified mosquito is a variant of the sterile male mosquito developed by Oxitec in Oxford, England. The genetically modified male mosquitoes can mate normally with wild female mosquitoes of the same species and give birth to larvae that do not live long. These larvae will have an enzyme in their bodies that, when accumulated to toxic concentrations, will cause the larvae to die, thereby reducing the mosquito population. Because genetically modified mosquitoes can only survive one generation and have no offspring, the researchers believe there will be no long-term changes to the ecosystem. The released GM mosquitoes are all male mosquitoes, they only eat nectar and tree sap, and will not transmit diseases through the bite of humans.

Can the release of genetically modified mosquitoes eliminate Aedes aegypti? Aedes aegypti is just a mosquito family generic name. The main purpose of the GM mosquito release program is to reduce the number of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that transmit bone pain fever. By releasing GM mosquitoes, we can only achieve a reduction in the number of this type of mosquito, but not eliminate it. Since mosquitoes cannot fly long distances, the stocking program must be carried out gradually from one place to another, and once the program to reduce Aedes aegypti by genetically modified mosquitoes is implemented, it must be continued.

Can we completely reduce the transmission of bone pain fever by reducing Aedes aegypti? Aedes aegypti is not the only vector mosquito that transmits bone pain fever, another more familiar with the transmission of bone pain fever is Aedes albopictus, this mosquito also transmits chikungunya. Therefore, even if the number of Aedes aegypti has decreased, it does not mean that the disease is fully controlled. Today, the first place to implement a public release of genetically modified mosquitoes is the British island of Cayman, involving 3 million genetically modified mosquitoes, followed by Malaysia in Pahang state, Wendong (uninhabited areas), where the experiment involves the release of 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes. 2011, Brazil also conducted a public release of genetically modified mosquitoes, becoming the third region to experiment.

Humans suffer from Aedes aegypti and bone pain fever, struggling for many years, and many years of effort, we finally saw a ray of light that can inhibit the growth of Aedes aegypti - the release of genetically modified mosquitoes. However, not yet happy, some people say that genetically modified mosquitoes can harm the natural ecology. Look at the positive and negative sides of the word, the public can only open their eyes and feel the head, but can not figure it out! In the end, the release of genetically modified mosquitoes is good or bad? When the Malaysian Institute of Medicine completed the first batch of GM mosquitoes in the uninhabited areas of Wendong after the news broke out, immediately drew enthusiastic reactions from all walks of life, including local and international non-governmental organizations jointly wrote to the relevant authorities, to express strong opposition to the serious concerns of this incident.

Lin Li Zhen pointed out that although the Malaysian government has always stressed that the public release of genetically modified mosquitoes program is a small experiment involving only 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes if the government intends to commercialize the mass production of genetically modified mosquitoes in the future, the long-term use of this method to inhibit the growth of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to control the transmission of bone pain fever, it can not simply be regarded as a small experiment, because it involves not only the environment but also people's health. The health of the people.

"We don't mean to be malicious in our opposition to this program, but after considering all aspects of the program, including the release of genetically modified mosquitoes in Cayman, we see too many concerns and worrisome opaque procedures." The genetically modified mosquito can only be used to suppress a mosquito with the scientific name Aedes aegypti, but in fact, the "vector mosquito" that transmits bone pain fever is not only Aedes aegypti, but also Aedes albopictus, which transmits bone pain fever and chikungunya from Southeast Asia. In terms of ecology, not when you repel a species of mosquito, that is the end, there are other relatives of the species that exist and continue to breed, and may bring more powerful damage. A good example is Aedes albopictus, a relative of Aedes aegypti, which is even more aggressive than its predecessor and also transmits the more horrific chikungunya.

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About the Creator

conant abram

I am a creative writer, in writing all kinds of horror stories, I like horror things

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