Genetically modified mosquitoes
Sounds like something from a science fiction movie, but believe it or not, CTNBio approved the commercial release of a genetically modified killing machine.
It seems that in an effort to control any further outbreak of Dengue fever. And to prevent what could potentially turn into a rather catastrophic epidemic. The Brazilian government manufactured a devious little male mosquito just in time for the FIFA 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Where do these genetically modified mosquitoes come from?
They’re a product of Oxitec. And only the male species have been created. The only difference from their real life brothers? The have two additional (killing) genes. The plan was to release them out into the wild to mate with their lady friends. Resulting in their offspring inheriting these two additional genes. The important thing here is that the little baby mozzies will not make it to their babymaking days. And guess what, if they can’t make babies then the species will (hopefully) die out. Which means no more Dengue fever.
Not sure it will be that simple though. Do you?
Hadyn Parry, the CEO of Oxitec, said that “We are delighted that CTNBio have recognised the intrinsic safety and negligible environmental risk of Oxitec’s mosquitoes. As an innovative approach it is important to have such rigourous examination. In recent years our technology has been attracting a great deal of attention from dengue endemic countries worldwide and CTNBio’s technical opinion will be very helpful for other countries considering whether to evaluate this for their own circumstances. We feel that the beneficial environmental profile, coupled with excellent efficacy to date, make the Oxitec mosquito a valuable new tool for health authorities around the world to complement their existing efforts in tackling the mosquitoes that spread dengue fever”.
Only time will tell whether or not the pros will outweigh the cons (read the original article here).