Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Field Trials of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes and Public Health Ethics

Recently, public health officials released genetically modified(GM) mosquitos in parts of Florida, alarming some people. When looking into it more, I found that they were GM males, which don't bite and are unable to produce viable offspring. By doing this, public health officials hope to reduce the amount of mosquito offspring that are able to pass on diseases that are potentially dangerous to humans. Despite the benefits, there are also ethical issues some are concerned with. Certain people fee individuals and communities should have the opportunity to give consent in regard to being exposed to these mosquitos. There are also issues with regard to potential public health and environmental risks that might arise due to this introduction. I personally find no issue with this since the males wouldn't pose a danger to anyone's health and only have the ability to reduce the population of mosquitos.

3 comments:

  1. This article is really interesting since it originally seems counterintuitive to release more mosquitoes into the environment in order to reduce their population, but since they are male mosquitoes, which only feed on nectar, any disease via parasites that would get transferred to humans (or other organisms) from female mosquitoes, which feed on blood to help them develop eggs, is not. Upon further research, I found that Oxiplec had already released mosquitoes in 2009 and 2010 to the Cayman islands, which they reported decreased the mosquito population by around 96%. Of course, some scientists have issue with eradicating a species while others claim that it will not negatively impact the environment greatly. Personally, I think that using pesticides and other chemical products to kill mosquitoes seems worse than a controlled extinction/bottleneck for the environment and ecosystem and think that this will be a more efficient way to control the species in order to protect humankind.

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  2. My biology lab professor from B&E said that scientists were trying to figure out a way to do to get rid of of mosquitoes over all and I am completely okay with this and was actually excited someone thought of this and is now pulling through. Female mosquitoes are annoying and when they bite you, make you scratch, and potentially scar so hopefully in a few years with these genetically modified male ones that can't produce they'll be gone. Super interesting article!!

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