Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Genetically modified species of mosquitoes are now being used to combat certain diseases, but there are possible negative effects that these modified mosquitoes on the ecosystem. Dengue fever is a condition that affects at least fifty million people a year. People who contract this mosquito born disease experience very unpleasant symptoms such as: fever, muscle and joint pain, and hemorrhagic bleeding and also has no vaccine or cure (Cheng 1). Two articles have been examined in order to form a well-rounded thesis on how this release of genetically modified insects will affect the ecosystem and will it achieve the desired outcome of overcoming dengue without the use to harsh chemicals.
For years research has been put into the development of a species of genetically modified mosquito in order to prevent the various diseases that are spread from mosquito bites. Andrew Read, a professor of biology and entomology at Pennsylvania State University said, “Anything that could selectively remove insects transmitting really nasty diseases would be very helpful” (Cheng 1). Read was not at all involved with the project and believes that we can do a lot more good with the removal of these creatures in the sense that it will prevent the spreading of these various diseases like malaria and dengue. These scientists introduced the mosquitoes into a 40-acre area and the mosquito population has dropped by 80 percent because of the new infertile males interacting with the native mosquitoes (CNS 1). The female species of mosquitoes are the only carriers of this disease thus this reduction in mosquito reproduction will decrease the amount of disease carrying insects.
However environmental scientist and ecologist question how this reduction will effect the ecosystem that these mosquitoes are removed from. GM Freeze’s, a British non-profit organization, director Pete Riley says, “If we remove an insect like the mosquito from the ecosystem, we...