Tuesday, March 20, 2007
The invasion of the GM mosquitoes
It's being reported in the Guardian and the Times (though the Times article seems better informed. Imagine that.) that the plan to release genetically modify mosquitoes, which are made to be unable to pass on malaria, is getting closer.
Traditionally, transgenic mosquitoes have been out competed by their wild type chums , but the big thing about this latest study, which is to be published in PNAS (but doesn't appear to be released at the time of writing), is that these mossies show in increased fittness, compared with the wild type.
Incidentally, reading the Times and Guardian articles, one gets confused as to who led the research. Is it Mauro Marrelli as the Times says, or, as the Gurniad has it, his colleague at Johns-Hopkins, Marcelo Jacobs-Lorena? I'm too lazy to go find out. That's the job of a journalist.
I suppose that I should say some thing about the controversy of releasing GM animals in to the wild, but you know, I don't think it's a worth while debate. Malaria kills more than a million people a year, most of whom are kids. Won't somebody please think of the children?
You know, just writing this gives me the willies. I have serious issues with mosquitoes. Nasty little fuckers. Almost as bad as daddy long legses. Now there is an evil insect. You know they suck the brains out of babies heads? It's true I tells ya .
Trends Parasitology, 2006. 22(5):197-202 doi:10.1016/j.pt.2006.03.004