What Could Go Wrong???: Malaysia Releases 6,000 Mutant Mosquitoes To Combat Disease

February 1, 2011


Mosquitoes: they nasty. And now Malaysia has genetically modified a strain of all-males that are supposed to produce young that die soon after birth and released them into the wild with the hope they'll help reduce Dengue fever outbreaks. *plugging in bug-zapper and crackin' open a beer* No need for television tonight!

Dengue fever is a particularly nasty bug found in tropical and subtropical climes like Malaysia's, causing nausea, muscle and joint pain, fever, headaches, rashes, and sometimes death if left untreated (in Malaysia it killed 134 people last year).

The experiment was conducted less to see if the GM mosquitoes' offspring would die off earlier and more to see how the 6,000 mosquitoes themselves would fare in the wild. That also happens to be the sticking point for environmental groups and locals who are incensed that the Malaysian government went ahead with the experiment over their protests. Tweaking genomes, critics say, could lead to unforeseen and uncontrollable consequences.

"Unforeseen and uncontrollable consequences" is right. What happens when they find out the mosquitoes they released not only grow stronger every time they're exposed to OFF! but only go for eyeballs now? Beats me, but you better believe I'm wearing swim-goggles 24/7! And not just because women can't tell when I'm looking at their butts but GOT-DAMN LOOK AT THE TRUNK ON THAT ONE. You could fit multiple dead bodies in there -- with the spare AND a roadside emergency kit!!

Malaysia Releases 6,000 Genetically Modified Mosquitoes into the Wild [popsci]

Thanks to Boaz, who put a single genitally modified ant in his ant farm and it immediately set the barn on fire and ran over the rest of the ants with a tractor. WTF!

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