Genetically modified mosquitoes could combat malaria - Macleans.ca
 

Genetically modified mosquitoes could combat malaria

Scientists manipulate insect DNA to reduce cases of deadly illness


 

Scientists say they will soon be able to change the DNA of wild mosquitoes to help curb malaria, an illness that caused nearly one million deaths worldwide in 2008 according to the World Health Organization. The BBC reports that researchers are getting closer to finding a gene that they could spread through most of the wild mosquito population in just a few years. Scientists at Imperial College London and the University of Washington have inserted a gene into mosquitoes that creates an enzyme to cut their DNA in two. The cell uses the gene as a template to fix itself , and the male mosquito’s sperm carries the gene on to its offspring. The gene was used in lab experiments to half of caged mosquitoes within 12 generations.

BBC News


 
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Genetically modified mosquitoes could combat malaria

  1. What could possibly go wrong? :)

  2. Closer, and closer, and closer and closer. lol. Never have so few been so closer so often for so many things. Its a liberal thing! Promise results for after your dead.

    • Less of a Liberal thing, more of a politician thing

  3. It would be a huge step forward to eliminate malaria.

    • No offense, but an obvious statement to say least. Malaria is an obvious issue, but the costs associated with it's elimination, simply due to the commonality of the insects that transmit the disease, make it a very difficult one to deal with. Frankly, malaria may not be the best use for research money, but one thing is certain, supporting humanitarian endeavors without thinking about them is not a good approach.

      • No offense taken….but this has already been done.

        It's a good thing.

        • Thanks Martha Stuart, but it's not going to be that simple. My point, however, is simple: blindly giving support to research projects is not an effective way of dealing with global issues. If you think its a good thing, fine, but it would be prudent to at least look at the science involved first.

          • Who is Martha Stuart?

            Scientists are looking after it, thanks.

          • Well, you've literally proven my point. If people don't take the time to question the efficiency of scientific endeavors undertaken with public or charitable money, billions will be wasted.

          • It's. Been. Done.

          • That's. Not. The. Point. Glad to see you think before you post.

          • But you made it the point.

            And got creamed.

          • <div id="idc-comment-msg-div-145570188" class="idc-message"><a class="idc-close" title="Click to Close Message" href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(145570188)"><span>Close Message</span> Comment posted. <p class="idc-nomargin"><a class="idc-share-facebook" target="_new" href="http://www.facebook.com/sharer.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww2.macleans.ca%2F2011%2F04%2F21%2Fgenetically-modified-mosquitoes-could-combat-malaria%2F%23IDComment145560209#IDComment145570188&t=I%20just%20commented%20on%20Genetically%20modified%20mosquitoes%20could%20combat%20malaria%20-%20Need%20to%20know%20-%20Macleans.ca&quot; style="text-decoration: none;"><span class="idc-share-inner"><span>Share on Facebook</span></span> or <a href="javascript: IDC.ui.close_message(145570188)">Close MessageI'm just asking people to think independently for a moment, rather than just plugging the party lines, conservative, liberal, NDP, or otherwise.

          • Science has nothing whatever to do with your political party.

          • Thank you! That's my point! People need to think for THEMSELVES about these things!

          • Since you know nothing about science, I suggest you go study.

            That's what you're supposed to be doing over the Easter holidays.

          • Really? I know nothing about science? As someone who has studied science all my life, I take offense to that. You shouldn't take out your feelings of inadequacy on those who take the time to learn about the issues they are discussing.

  4. The new and improved mosquito may acquire/carry new and improved opportunistic micro-organisms which may turn out to be worse than Malaria.

    One of the problems with genetic manipulation is that we don’t know what else it will do apart from what we have engineered it to do. Most genes have a variety of functions/effects. Several genes work in concert to effect a species characteristic. We just don’t know all the possibilities which will result.

    Some of the unintended characteristics or new talents and skills, may not show themselves in the lab –they may show themselves only through interaction with the environment. The new genetic qualities may also keep away the species’ natural predators, which is how plants which need no pesticides are engineered. But animals/insects are part of a complex food chain. Without predators the species may explode in population, coupled with new opportunistic micro-organisms…That’s what can go wrong…(somebody asked.)

    The same thing happens when foreign animal and plants are brought to another part of the world where they have no natural predators. Often they outcompete and kill off the local flora and fauna.

    Otherwise If this actually works without unintended consequences –this is the cheapest way to deal with malaria. Dealing with the millions of people who have been infected is much more costly in medicines, hospital care and emotional costs of suffering.

    PS: It’s easy to fling mindless insults and then squabble about generalities.

    What a waste of time to read egotistical crap like that…

    AND we learn nothing new about the topic of the original article.

    Does anyone have anything informative to say about Malaria and/or Genetic Engineering?

  5. Would, Genetically modified, explain why liberals all talk out of the side of their mouth? Or is that just an example of forcing, equality, where it never existed. Never has, nor ever will.