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The fight against the Zika virus has a new weapon: the genetically engineered mosquito. It's recently been approved by federal regulators and may soon be available in parts of the U.S. that are confronting the virus, like Puerto Rico and Miami.
The Florida Keys do not have a Zika problem at the moment, but on Aug. 5 the Food and Drug Administration approved trial releases of these mosquitoes in the Keys.
But because of the vocal opposition of people there, the local mosquito control board hasn't yet approved the trials, instead putting it on the November ballot as a nonbinding referendum.
The Obama administration on Friday declared a public health emergency in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, saying the rapid and widespread transmission of the Zika virus threatens the health of infected pregnant women and their babies.
In June 2005, Oxitec was awarded US$4.8m as part of an international consortium within the Grand Challenges for Global Health initiative, led by the Gates Foundation (in partnership with the Wellcome Trust, US Foundation for National Institutes of Health and Canadian Institutes for Health Research).
Oxitec uses advanced genetics to insert a self-limiting gene into its mosquitoes. The gene is passed on to the insect’s offspring, so when male Oxitec engineered mosquitoes are released into the wild and mate with wild females, their offspring inherit the self-limiting trait. The resulting offspring will die before reaching adulthood, and the local mosquito population will decline. www.oxitec.com...
A public/private partnership (Gates/Oxitec) developed a different transgenic Ae. aegypti strain (OX36404C) in which only the females die (fsRIDL) when tetracycline is removed from their larval diet . Such a strain could be more effective than one in which both sexes die. Although indoor large-cage trials were successful , results from an outdoor field-cage trial in Mexico were disappointing . Lowered mating competitiveness of transgenic males was onecause of the failure of that trial. It is possible that new strains with this female-killing transgenic construct may have better performance. Detailed population dynamics models indicate that mosquito suppression with this female-killing technique may be problematic in heterogeneous city settings and that attention must be paid to developing effective male release methods . Some researchers also question the feasibility of RIDL for large cities or large geographic areas due to logistic challenges of delivery and concerns about cost. The developers, however, argue that these obstacles can be overcome.
The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District board found a way to help offset some of the costs of its new Lower Keys facility on Big Coppitt Key or rental payments if it can’t afford the construction costs of the proposed facility.
The board agreed Tuesday to allow the bio-tech company Oxitec to use its lab at Mosquito Control’s office in Marathon to rear genetically m...
Signs saying “No consent” are scattered across what looks like about half the front yards in Key Haven, a neighborhood of neat, high-end homes where the streets stretch out into the Gulf of Mexico like fingers.
Opponents have raised other concerns as well: for every 1,000 mosquitoes released, one will be female, the sort that bite.
De Mier and other opponents ask: what happens if a female Oxitec mosquito bites a woman? What if it passes the “kill gene”, as opponents call it, to people? Oxitec scientists analyzed the saliva of roughly six mosquitoes, the gene was not detected, and scientists concluded that humans were unlikely to be exposed. But that hasn’t soothed critics.
“Opening this Pandora’s box, sometimes you don’t see the impact until five, 10, 15 years down the road,” De Mier said.
“I’m not against genetically modified at all,” she said. “Sometimes, I don’t know what I put on my table, but that’s the difference – it’s about choice,” she said, referencing the GMO food supply. “Permission has not been asked or given … This is only for Oxitec’s benefit.”
Horizontal gene transfer (HGT), also lateral gene transfer (LGT), is any process in which an organism incorporates genetic material from another organism without being the offspring of that organism.
There is some evidence that even higher plants and animals have been affected and this has raised concerns for safety.  However, Richardson and Palmer (2007) state: "Horizontal gene transfer (HGT) has played a major role in bacterial evolution and is fairly common in certain unicellular eukaryotes. However, the prevalence and importance of HGT in the evolution of multicellular eukaryotes remain unclear." 
Due to the increasing amount of evidence suggesting the importance of these phenomena for evolution (see below) molecular biologists such as Peter Gogarten have described horizontal gene transfer as "A New Paradigm for Biology". 
It should also be noted that the process may be a hidden hazard of genetic engineering as it may allow dangerous transgenic DNA to spread from species to species. 
originally posted by: IgnoranceIsntBlisss
a reply to: [post=21141260]Meldionne1[/post
Next we have the mosquito. Unless its injecting some chemical into humans, or unless their gene does something 'bad', then there's probably not much to obsess about.
Gene's are just a most exotic form of chemistry, when you get down to it.
I dont know, but are there examples of insect bites causing adverse forms of 'gene therapy' in mammals?
Temefos or temephos (trade name Abate) is an organophosphate larvicide used to treat water infested with disease-carrying insects including mosquitoes, midges, and black fly larvae. As with other organophosphates, temephos affects the central nervous system through inhibition of cholinesterase. In larvae, this results in death before reaching the adult stage.
In the developing world where the vector-borne disease dengue fever is endemic, temephos is widely used and applied by both private and public pest control in areas of standing water where the Aedes aegypti mosquito breeds in order to reduce the population of this disease-carrying insect. Temephos is also used in the Guinea worm eradication program to kill water fleas that carry guinea worm larvae.
Resistance to temephos by A. aegypti has been seen in Brazil. The Brazilian Aedes aegypti resistance monitoring program detected temephos resistance in A. aegypti populations from several localities in the country in 1999 (Funasa 2000, Lima et al. 2003). In 1999, mosquitoes from the city of Rio de Janeiro were already resistant to temephos. en.wikipedia.org...
originally posted by: StoutBroux
So yeah, lets pick on a poor, helpless mosquito that kills and maims humans by the hundreds of thousands every year.
No other species, including our own, is responsible for the loss of as many human lives each year as mosquitoes are, Gates continues. Humans murder around 475,000 other people each year. Snakes kill around 50,000, while dogs (mainly from rabies transmission) claim another 25,000 lives. Some of the most feared animals (sharks, wolves) kill fewer than 10.
The diseases that mosquitos carry and transmit to people they bite, on the other hand, kill 725,000.
( personally I thought he was getting a kick back..no proof of that, but locals suspect he's getting it from oxytec)
originally posted by: Meldionne1
They are injected with herpes simplex virus and e-coli.... Sounds harmless enough to us ( rolls eyes) ... but hey....I supose if you like the GMO mosquito idea we will happily send oxytec to your neighborhood !
originally posted by: Meldionne1
The guy who was in charge of mosquito control down here just quit...He couldn't handle the heat of the residents against the GMO plan ( personally I thought he was getting a kick back..no proof of that, but locals suspect he's getting it from oxytec) ....when the locals demanded to see his emails with oxytec and it's considered part of the public information act ....he deleted his emails and quit....so in the past few years , he ran our programs that were working , into the ground...stopped the dengue program we had ( that was working wonderful) ...and ran our reserves funding into almost nothing as he bought stupid things and a built a new building we didn't need. ...I just attended a meeting and people down here are pissed...and then he quit and left . So now.... We are trying to rebuild all the mosquito programs that were working just fine. It's a mess...he was a total piece of garbage.
originally posted by: Irishhaf
Caught a blurb the other day that the traditional methods were working... yet they still pushed this gmo idea that should make everyone take a pause.