Engineering Mosquitoes’ Genes to Resist Malaria
Two teams of biologists in Irvine campus of the University of California work in a basement behind five protective doors. They engineered a new breed of mosquitos that is suppose to eliminate malaria. The scientists incorporated two genetic modifications, one to release antibodies to the presence of malaria parasites. The second called a gene drive, should propel the malaria-resistance genes throughout a natural mosquito population. Taking into account Mendel’s law of genetics, the inserted genes should rapidly take over a wild population in as few as ten generations or a single season.
No mosquitos have been let out into the wild mosquito population yet. Biologist are keen to avoid surprises that might arouse public hostility. They believe the public is not ready to such a novel technology. Other concern arises like if the genes will start to develop mutations that might impair their inheritance or natural selection.
In my point of view its fascinating how we have the ability to corrected or edit certain genes. Especially when it comes to malaria, a life threatening illness. From another prospective I totally disagree with engineering mosquitos. I disagree for the only reason that the outcome of releasing the modified mosquitos are not something measurable or controlled. This might have a great impact, perhaps devastating event to happen to our ecosystem.