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The field test is meant to pave the way for the official use of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes to mate with females and produce offspring with shorter lives, thus curtailing the population. Only female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread dengue fever, which killed 134 people in Malaysia last year.
The Malaysian government-run Institute for Medical Research said in a statement received on Wednesday it released the non-biting sterile male lab mosquitoes in an uninhabited forest area in eastern Malaysia
Scientists at British biotechnology giant Oxitec recently developed a genetically-modified (GM) mosquito that, apart from a specific chemical antibiotic, is unable to successfully repopulate. And the company recently released millions of these GM mosquitoes in the Cayman Islands to see what would happen — and they did so without proper approval or announcement — prompting outrage by experts and the public over the unknown consequences of conducting such an irresponsible experiment.
Oxitec released the mosquitoes last year, but only just recently let the public know about it. The company has attempted to justify its decision by claiming its GM mosquitoes may help fight the spread of dengue fever by reducing or eliminating the wild mosquito population. But nobody knows what happens when these GM mosquitoes interact with other animals and humans, or how their altered genes will disrupt the living environment....
Not only are mosquitoes a necessary component of the natural food chain, representing the prey of various creatures like birds and bats, but they are also important pollinators in the same way that bees are. Even though they appear to be a nuisance, without them, the entire food chain could collapse.
In addition to funding Monsanto, the Gates Foundation has also funded the development of genetically modified mosquitoes. The mosquitoes, developed by the University of Queensland, are modified to stop the spread of a virus carried by the insects. This technology also allows scientists to modify the insects in other ways, such as engineering the mosquito to produce a vaccine in their saliva. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in Bethesda is currently working on a transgenic mosquito that is essentially a mobile vaccination. If it is successfully implemented, unsuspecting targets will be injected with a vaccination, even if the person is opposed to the science behind most vaccinations
A total 29 organisations in Malaysia and 87 from abroad have also stated their apprehension in open letters to the authorities
Originally posted by pianopraze
reply to post by burntheships
I'm going to have to write a song about a land of sheeple...
who wake up and cry...
"help, help... I've been double crossed..."
As the swarms of mosquitos come flying through to "inoculate" them against the next "pandemic causing super-flu" like the Swine Flu or Bird Flu...