Mutant Mosquitoes: 6,000 Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released By Malaysia To Fight Dengue

By on Jan 27, 2011 in Asia, Health, Science, World Comments
Aedes mosquito
Aedes Aegypti Mosquito
Image Credit: aedesmosquito.com

Around 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes have been released by Malaysia into a forest, according to international reports.

The mosquitoes were said to be the first experiment of its kind in Asia to fight dengue fever.

Reports said that the experiment used genetically engineered Aedes Aegypti male mosquitoes to mate with female Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes to produce offspring with shorter lives, thus curtailing the population.

Only female Aedes Aegypti mosquito was said to be the one spreading dengue fever, thus, researchers were trying to come up with a solution to suppress its population.

Meanwhile, some Malaysian environmentalists are not in favor of the plan. They fear of the unforeseen consequences that may arise such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes or possible introduction of another type of new diseases.

To pacify the issue, the government authorities reportedly said that they are just conducting small-scale research and will not rush into any widespread release of mosquitoes.

According to reports, about 6,000 non-biting sterile male lab mosquitoes were released by the Malaysian government-run Institute for Medical Research in an uninhabited forest area in eastern Malaysia on Dec. 21. It was also said that another 6,000 wild male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were placed in the area for scientific comparison.

Furthermore, the experiment was said to be successful and had concluded on January 5, 2011. The institute said that they are not planning to release any more mosquitoes until it had analyzed the results of the lab mosquitoes’ life span and extent of their dispersal in the wild.



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