September 2, 2016

WIPE THEM OUT; ALL OF THEM: Mosquitoes Are Deadly, So Why Not Kill Them All?

Powerful new gene-editing technologies could allow scientists to program mosquito populations to gradually shrink and die off. Some efforts have gained enough momentum that the possibility of mosquito-species eradication seems tantalizingly real.

“I think it is our moral duty to eliminate this mosquito,” entomologist Zach Adelman says about Aedes aegypti, a species carried afar over centuries by ships from sub-Saharan Africa. It derived from a forest dweller and adapted to thrive among humans, to whom the mosquito spreads at least four viruses that cause major diseases.

Prof. Adelman, a virologist and associate professor of entomology at Texas A&M University, is working to program Aedes aegypti mosquitoes to develop as males.

Eventually, females would run out of mates, crashing the species’ population in places it invaded and “cleaning up a global mess,” he says. Female mosquitoes are the only ones that bite people and transmit viruses.

This is not a new discussion for longtime Instapundit readers.

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