Genetically Modified Mosquitoes are here

Over the next two years, the biotech company Oxitec plans to release millions of genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas in an attempt to stop the spread of diseases like dengue and Zika.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has already approved the plan — but a group of biologists, ecologists, bioethicists, and sustainability researchers writes in an article for The Conversation that they’re concerned about the lack of oversight for the effort to effectively hack the ecosystem.

In theory, releasing gene-hacked mosquitoes into the wild is a valid way to kill off or reduce local populations: by engineering sterile breeds of the insect, scientists can drastically reduce the number of bugs born in the next generation.

The concept has worked in a laboratory setting. But when officials in Brazil tried it for real, the plan reportedly backfired spectacularly — giving rise to super-resilient genetic hybrids.

Read more on the Conversation

3 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All