Is genetically modifying mosquitoes wrong? | The Tylt

Is genetically modifying mosquitoes wrong?

Most people find mosquitoes to be little more than pests. But to this day, mosquitoes remain the cause behind incredibly devastating illnesses. In order to address this issue, scientists have begun to genetically modify the insect so that its population decreases over time. While some are elated at the thought, others find themselves in a moral quandary. Do humans have any business genetically modifying mosquitoes?

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Everything in nature has a purpose. Despite the fact that mosquitoes are annoying and potentially life-threatening doesn’t mean they don’t serve some greater good. For one thing, many animals depend on them for food: the BBC notes that birds and bats rely on mosquitoes as nourishment while fish and frogs eat their larvae. On top of that, many plants count on mosquitoes for pollination

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Furthermore, the same BBC article points out that only six percent of all mosquitoes draw blood. Although the short-term eradication of the insect would benefit the human race, who really knows what the long-term implications will be? 

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Also, have we learned nothing from “Jurassic Park”? That whole movie is about messing around with nature and, spoiler, it doesn’t end well.

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Scientists aren’t looking to get rid of every mosquito; they’re just concentrating on the disease-spreading kind. UNICEF explains that over forty percent of the world’s population lives in malaria-risk areas; the lives saved by this endeavor are worth every effort. There also doesn’t appear to be any ecological drawbacks as far as eradicating mosquitoes is concerned. According to NPR, scientists involved with the experiment have highlighted removing certain mosquito species won’t severely impact the food chain. The site explains:

"[T]here are hundreds of mosquito species. So many that scientists think dramatically suppressing, or even completely removing, just one would not significantly impact the food chain. Many other mosquito species would still be available for these animals to eat." 
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The technique used basically involves genetically engineered mosquitoes to house a gene which kills their young. This species has already been released in areas with populations heavily affected by mosquito-carried diseases. This has been a great success in countries such as Brazil, where Science Daily states cases of dengue fever dropped by fifty-two percent upon release of the genetically modified species. 

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The BBC also points out that plenty of insects would take up the role left behind by the eradicated mosquitoes, so it’s not like the world will miss them in an environmental sense. Mother Nature knows how to self-repair where she can. Life, after all, finds a way…

FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Is genetically modifying mosquitoes wrong?
#LetMosquitoesBe
A festive crown for the winner
#EndMosquitoes