Gene Drive

No more mosquitoes! We can now eliminate house flies (another potentially serious vector of disease). Bedbugs, cockroaches, scorpions, spiders, all have their advocates for elimination. This is truly hard to imagine, but if I read the attached article correctly, scientists have figured out how to rapidly alter a population of insects genetically. In this case, the mosquito, making it unable to transmit malaria. Seems like a good thing, especially if you or a family member are in malaria’s throes. There is, however, a serious spectre of spookiness in all of this. It seems to me if you subscribe to the idea of maintaining the balance and health of an ecosystem or environment, meddling with the genetic design of one or more of its participants could be all about short term gain, long term catastrophe.


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