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First 'Malaria-Proof' Mosquito Created

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the what-about-a-really-good-egg-cream dept.

Biotech 261

Gisg writes "The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically modified mosquitoes are immune to the malaria-causing parasite, a single-cell organism called Plasmodium. Riehle and his colleagues tested their genetically-altered mosquitoes by feeding them malaria-infested blood. Not even one mosquito became infected with the malaria parasite."

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side effect (3, Interesting)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921446)

Just wait for the population explosion in (random mammal) once these mosquitoes start taking over.

Re:side effect (4, Funny)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921500)

Let's hope they are mammals of the tasty variety.

Re:side effect (2, Funny)

Chih (1284150) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921560)

mmmm...... mammals *drools*

Re:side effect (4, Funny)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921906)

Mostly it's humans.

http://www.hmc.psu.edu/healthinfo/m/malaria.htm [psu.edu]

http://www.itg.be/evde/02_Malariap2.htm [www.itg.be]

But there is some anecdotal evidence that "long pig" does taste pretty good.

Re:side effect (4, Funny)

Psaakyrn (838406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922400)

Mmmmmm... Soylent Green...

Re:side effect (5, Insightful)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921520)

Humans.

Speaking of which, why can't we just make a malaria-proof human?

Re:side effect (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921578)

it's called sickle-cell anemia...

Re:side effect (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922340)

it's called sickle-cell anemia...

i thought that was only for niggers.

Re:side effect (2, Funny)

jewswithbacon (1854578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922554)

Go back to digg or your teaparty rally.

Re:side effect (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921596)

People get so much less worked up about genetic engineering in bugs nobody likes...

Re:side effect (5, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921616)

Yeah, this'll be great until we find out they're also immune to mosquito repellent and their desire for human blood has been quadrupled.

Re:side effect (4, Funny)

lennier (44736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921890)

What could be scarier than VAMPIRE mosquitos!

oh wait

well, we could end up with ZOMBIE VAMPIRE mosquitos perhaps. Swat 'em and they come back...

Re:side effect (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922366)

As long as it doesn't create NINJA PIRATE mosquitos, we're safe.

Re:side effect (5, Funny)

Cassius Corodes (1084513) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921896)

Also, now they are a 1000 times their normal size.

Re:side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921992)

Been to Alaska?

Re:side effect (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922052)

That would probably actually make them a good bit less dangerous...

At 1000 times normal size, they would still be small enough to be vulnerable to manual blunt trauma(and pulling their wings off just to watch them crawl around and suffer would be much easier); but they would also be large enough to be taken down with BBs at modest range, or "snake load" [jamescalhoon.com] handgun rounds at close range.

Re:side effect (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922378)

Re: the link:

Anyone habitually shooting snakes is a douchebag of the highest order. They're wild animals that are pretty much harmless unless you go out of your way to piss them off, and most of the poisonous American varieties are rattlesnakes that will warn you so you don't step on them accidentally.

Re:side effect (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922482)

At 1000 times their maximum size of 16 mm [wikipedia.org] that would make them monsters 16 meters long. Even at one sixteenth that size it would still qualify as a monster insect.

Re:side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922576)

I misread the GP and thought he said only 100 times the size. Even *100, the proboscis (or blood sucker) would be 7-8 INCHES long. This is the kind of thing nightmares are made of. One-thousand times? Holy-fuck. You'd wake up a blood-drained carcass with incisions that looked like they came from a jackhammer.

Of course, if GP meant 1000 times the mass, then things would be quite different.

Re:side effect (2, Informative)

patrikor_007 (1094491) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922588)

depends how you figure size.

at 1000x their volume, the GP is probably about right.

at 1000x their length (1,000,000,000x their volume) they would be as you describe.

Re:side effect (1)

Kenoli (934612) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922680)

They would be large enough to never ever be able to find enough food too.

Re:side effect (1)

joppe4899 (1854908) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922268)

Yeah, this'll be great until we find out they're also immune to mosquito repellent and their desire for human blood has been quadrupled.

Seems I'm not the only one thinking about Mimic [imdb.com] here.

Re:side effect (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922526)

Just saw Splice, huh? Well, I regret to inform you that real life is not, in fact, a scifi movie. Just like how radiation doesn't spontaneously give people super powers, genetic engineering doesn't randomly create monsters. I realize this may be harsh news for those of you who can't live without the constant threat of a world wide zombie apocalypse, but it's the truth.

Re:side effect (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922080)

SOME people do.

From my perspective the most visible people opposed to genetically modified organisms are the least informed. The people who dress up and scream about "frankenfoods" often are doing so out of uninformed ignorance.

Other people (like me) are concerned about this too, but don't parade around screaming government conspiracy about it. Maybe we tend to be a little more open minded about it too, making us reserve judgement until we get some indication as to whether it's going to have major ecological disadvantages that would outweigh the advantages such as making healthy food cheaper or eradicating malaria.

I mean, I personally make transgenic bacteria most weeks, so not everyone who is cautious about GMOs are raving anti-science zealots.

Alternatively, maybe we're hypocrites. I'm guessing we'll get called that and more by extremists on both sides.

Re:side effect (5, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922324)

It's not so much that I'm afraid of GMOs in themselves, I'm much more afraid of Monsanto owning the rights to my food.

There was a farmer around these parts, somehow had some modified canola enter his field (via wind blowing pollen or..?) and Monsanto sued him for "license fees" on his crop. Think he ended up not having to pay after a few appeals, but the patent was upheld.

The other problem I recall hearing is that often the modified plants are less hardy than the natural version, so if your seed is contaminated it will no longer grow as well *without* roundup. I'm not entirely certain on this one though.

The whole concept of owning a strain of plant that can spread easily, and being able to extract license fees on it, seems very rotten to me, though.

Re:side effect (3, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922560)

It's not so much that I'm afraid of GMOs in themselves, I'm much more afraid of Monsanto owning the rights to my food.

I'm personally more concerned about things like unforseen health effects of consuming GMO, GMOs becoming invasive species, gene transfer from crops to pests creating super invasive species, and becoming dependent on monocultured food stocks leading to blights and starvation.

Monsanto being monsanto does make some of those things more of an issue. They're a lot more cavalier with risks than many organizations would be, and they certainly are doing all they can to press the monoculture, but there are plenty of big risks that don't have anything to do with patents.

Re:side effect (0)

Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922376)

From my perspective the most visible people opposed to genetically modified organisms are the least informed.

Yes, it is easy to call the people who do not share your view "stupid".

Re:side effect (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922498)

Don't put words in my mouth. I share their concerns. Raving lunatic extremists of any movement are stupid. My point was that they shouldn't reflect poorly on the movement as a whole.

Re:side effect (4, Informative)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922394)

Other people (like me) are concerned about this too, but don't parade around screaming government conspiracy about it. Maybe we tend to be a little more open minded about it too, making us reserve judgement until we get some indication as to whether it's going to have major ecological disadvantages that would outweigh the advantages such as making healthy food cheaper or eradicating malaria.

As another poster has already said, the problem is the control that goes along with the patent rights.

I'll mention another problem. The moment we can write code of non-trivial complexity that can be perfectly verified to be entirely bug-free is the moment I will begin to believe that genetic engineers who plan to release a modified creature into the wild can foresee all possible consequences of their creation. At least with computer code, we design the entire system from the ground up, both the hardware and the software, we have complete control over both, and still cannot guarantee that something will function as intended. Methinks that perfectly verifying no negative and unforeseen consequences with genetics will be more difficult still, since we discovered that system and did not design it and do not fully control it.

Killer bees were an attempt to cross-breed two species of honeybee that normally would never be able to produce offspring. It was supposed to give us the hardiness of the African bee with the docility and honey production of the European bee. What we ended up with was a monster that has caused many highly unpleasant deaths. That wasn't malice on the part of the scientists. It was their inability to completely foresee what the result was going to be and how it was going to interact with an entire interconnected ecosystem of other species. There is precedent for wanting a bit more assurance than what has been offered prior to allowing such creatures in the wild.

Re:side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922164)

People get so much less worked up about genetic engineering in things nobody eats...

FTFYFTW

Re:side effect (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921608)

The mosquitoes will still carry Avarian flu virus. Now they will be healthier and spread that disease faster than the sickly mosquito could.

yes I'm a pessimist.

Re:side effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922284)

Avarian...is that like a cross between avian and ovarian?

Re:side effect (1)

damnfuct (861910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921800)

most people wouldn't eat a genetically modified potato, nevermind have their genes altered.

Re:side effect (5, Insightful)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922178)

The funny thing is we have been genetically altering plants since the time that botany started being recorded. Matching the perfect set of plants for pollination is also a genetic modification, as is all the cross-breeding of plant species that people have come up with over the last few thousand years.

Re:side effect (1)

causality (777677) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922644)

The funny thing is we have been genetically altering plants since the time that botany started being recorded. Matching the perfect set of plants for pollination is also a genetic modification, as is all the cross-breeding of plant species that people have come up with over the last few thousand years.

The difference is that if you selectively pollinate one strain of plant with another strain of the same plant, you end up with a combination that could have occurred in nature. With genetic engineering, you can modify organisms in ways that no amount of selective breeding of existing plants could have produced.

The funny thing is that you believe these two scenarios are comparable in anything more than the most superficial sense of "yeah, something was modified by human activity" with no regard for the magnitude of the modification or whether it could have occurred without human intervention.

Speaking morally or ethically, it's already backwards from how it should be. A farmer can grow natural crops near another farmer who raises patented Monsanto crops. The wind blows and cross-pollination occurs between the two fields. If any legal action is to happen at all, it should be that the farmer growing natural crops can sue Monsanto or the other farmer for failure to contain their customized crops, as they are an unsolicited and unwanted invasion onto his private property. That's not what happens. Instead, Monsanto takes the natural-crop farmer to court demanding payment for use of patented crops against his/her will. That is their intention whether or not their case prevails in court.

So, we already know something about the character, disposition, and motive of the people performing the engineering. And I tell you truly, these people are not worthy of the power they wield. If genetic engineering of important food crops is potentially a great idea, surely the way we are implementing that idea deprives it of any greatness it could have had.

Re:side effect (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922654)

I'd take that a step further. Everything we eat is just piles upon piles of random mutations stacked up on top of each other. Beyond that, odds are pretty darned good that everything you eat has had gene transfer from some completely different species at one point. As more genomes are sequenced and examined, I'd be willing to bet my left nut that were going to find out that every crop we eat has DNA from various viruses, fungi, bacteria, and insects somewhere in it's genes.

Not that that particularly matters, because in the end, it's just magical thinking to assume that a plant cares if a particular gene came from breeding, a natural mutation, a mutagen induced mutation, natural horizontal gene transfer, or genetic engineering, or whatever. Trust me, plants really aren't all that smart, they really don't know either way.

Re:side effect (2, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921940)

I'd go out on a limb and say it's not clear we need malaria-proof anything.

Spraying -- since the end of the civil war in Mozambique -- and distributing treated mosquito nets has greatly reduced Malaria in Mozambique and the lowveld regions of South Africa. Malaria was eliminated in Europe and the US without malaria-proof mosquitoes. (Remember that nasty DDT? It was intended solely for spraying the inside walls of houses in the south. Farmers saw how well it worked and started spraying it on their crops, and the rest is history.)

Mozambique as a positive example? (5, Informative)

Animal Farm Pig (1600047) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922518)

I wonder where you've been in Mozambique... Costa do Sol doesn't count. I was a contractor in Manica province a couple of years back. I got malaria four times in one year. Every other international I knew contracted malaria. Mozambican colleagues were also infected often. We had treated nets, sprayed pesticides in our facilities, didn't let water stand, etc., etc.

It doesn't work. Maybe you can point to some percentage decrease in an area, but people are still getting and dying from malaria. Relying on individual action (treated nets, spraying own facilities) or an on-going effort organized by the government (a national spraying campaign)... recipe for failure.

I'm not saying we shouldn't take those kinds of actions-- any reduction is good. I'm saying that we should work towards total eradication of malaria. Ending poverty should put the material conditions in place, but maybe GM mosquitoes could help along the way.

Re:side effect (1)

undecim (1237470) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921952)

Humans.

Speaking of which, why can't we just make a malaria-proof human?

Well, for starters, there are currently over 6 billion non-malaria-proof humans on the planet, and I don't think most of them would consider giving up their right to children just so that a genetically engineered next generation of humans can be malaria-proof.

But if we can make these mosquitoes breed enough and take over the malaria vulnerable mosquito population, we can take a chunk out of the percentage of malaria spread to these humans and their children

Re:side effect (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921750)

What exactly are you saying, that some *random mammal* will stop dying of malaria because of this thing, and it's population will grow? Is that really a bad thing, I mean malaria isn't the most pleasant way to die, I wouldn't even wish it on a random mammal.

Did you really take the potential cure of malaria and try vigorously to find something that would spin it in a bad light? Because that's not cool. People not dying of malaria > random mammal population growth.

Re:side effect (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922018)

I was implying that you suddenly get a spike in a random mammal in the food chain, which leads to the decimation of another animal, and we hit another side effect of messing with the world.

Re:side effect (1)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921994)

Yeah, we probably need to substitute transmission of birth control for malaria? I guess that would be complicated.

That's nice. (3, Interesting)

Securityemo (1407943) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921448)

The malaria parasite is not a bacteria or virus, but could it evolve past this defense? And how would you make this variant of mosquito out-compete the normal, already established ones?

Re:That's nice. (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921486)

There's a chance it could evolve to defeat that defense as well as a chance that the evolved version could be even more deadly.

Re:That's nice. (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922396)

There's also a chance it would be less deadly, since it has to use some of its metabolic output to be immune to whatever defense the skeeterboffins at UA have cooked up.

Re:That's nice. (1)

iPhr0stByt3 (1278060) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922686)

Not necesasrily - most mislabeled "evolved" immunities are actually an enzyme deficiency so that bacteria no longer break down the "poison" or anti-biotics. So while it makes them immune, it actually conserves energy because it no longer produces a certain enzyme. Now, it's possible the missing enzyme was important for other things which makes the bacteria weak, I guess. Anyonw know more about these effects?

Re:That's nice. (3, Interesting)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921498)

It's always possible it could evolve past this defense, but as a parasite it doesn't evolve as fast as a bacteria or virus. So if they can spread fast enough, it's possible the parasite wouldn't have the time.

As for how this variant would out-compete the normal... If it otherwise matches the normal, it's quite possible this would be enough in and of itself: It wouldn't be spending energy on feeding a common parasite, and therefore would be able to grow stronger & faster on the same amount of food as another mosquito that is infected.

Worst case really is if the trait waters down when they breed with regular mosquitos: Then it might be weak enough that some of the parasite survives, which would then be a way for it to get a chance at resistance...

Re:That's nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921502)

It's just like business and the eco system, evolve or die. The malaria parasite will have to evolve, and do it fast, because I just read it's on Arizona's death list. Still I think they handled it wrong and should've gotten rid of the mosquitoes.

Re:That's nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921716)

Still I think they handled it wrong and should've gotten rid of the mosquitoes.

The problem with that is that there are things that feed on the mosquitoes (bats, for instance). Introducing the malaria-proof skeeters, assuming it works, has less potential for unforeseen ecological consequences.

Re:That's nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922160)

bats

Bats eat all sorts of bugs. The only unforseen consequence would be the disappearance of any species that we didn't realize ate only mosquitoes, or that somehow needed the iron from the blood mosquitoes had eaten. Or that eliminating the mosquito was what God was waiting for before sending Jesus back down for the second coming ("It just ain't Heaven on Earth until all those bloodsuckers are gone.")

Wait, I just forsaw all three.

Re:That's nice. (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921610)

And how would you make this variant of mosquito out-compete the normal, already established ones?

I'd hazard a guess that the simple, but probably more dangerous way would be to make these already transgenic malaria proof mosquitoes immune to some type of pesticide, so they'd have a selective advantage.

A somewhat safer, but far more expensive way would be to breed large amounts of the malaria proof mosquitoes and release them to just crowd out the normal ones.

Expensive because in addition to the raising a lot of them, you'd have to convince people to let you release large amount of blood sucking parasites near them. Other blood sucking parasites would get rich suing the pants off of that. And it's going to be an uphill battle releasing -any- transgenic organism into the wild. I think concern is entirely justified there as we have a poor track record managing the environment, but I could be convinced it's worth testing if we are reasonably sure it will just prevent malaria transmission. Artificially evolving mosquitoes to be immune to pesticides though would be extremely dangerous and seems like it has a good chance of backfiring if the genes for malaria immunity could be dropped but the pesticide immunity were retained.

You can guess which approach I suspect is going to be taken.

Re:That's nice. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921720)

Actually they already do this with sterile males (males do not suck blood) pesticide free resistance proof eradication, this also works on a lot of other critters. Problem is the will always come back, they breed fast there is a ecological niche, and we can not afford to eradicate them globally. On the other hand the resistant mosquitoes would have an advantage without further modification, malaria makes them sick too, so do this over the main malarial regions and natural selection will take care of the rest.

Re:That's nice. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921888)

Or you could do somewhere close to option C: burn down the existing populations so that when you release a relatively small amount of the new mosquitos they already have the competitive advantage. Nobody said that they needed to be released anywhere near human populations as the bugs will do the migratory work for you. They just need to have the edge over the existing malaria-carrying-able mosquitos for long enough to beat the regular ones for resources and natural selection will do the rest.

So you might have some problem getting it by some regulatory body in the US or Mexico... however where they're needed most, in Africa for instance, you'll hear no such outcries from the locals. And of course there will always be those fears that these mosquitos will drink our blood and mutate the next AIDS or T-Virus, but it's far more likely that it just plain won't work (e.g. the new mosquitos breed with the old mosquitos and you get old mosquitos with a few broken genes).

Re:That's nice. (1)

Urza9814 (883915) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922222)

Wait, why do they _need_ to out-compete the others? Depending on exactly how the trait is passed down and such, wouldn't it be possible to spread it after a couple of generations through mating of malaria-proof mosquitoes with the local population?

Re:That's nice. (2, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922044)

I really wish we could just invent a human-proof mosquito, one that can't stand humans.

It already outcompetes. (5, Interesting)

Tatarize (682683) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922652)

Malaria harms mosquitoes too. An earlier attempt of this concept tried to outcompete factor and found that due to the added immunity the mosquito quickly rose to around 90% after a few generations. In theory, all they need to do is release this mosquito and it should have the immunity gene take over the vast majority of the mosquito population in short order and protect a lot of humans as a consequence.

Also, you can't really evolve past a defense if the wall is instantly 50 feet high. You need some leeway like not taking the full doses of antibiotics or a rather large quasi-species of HIV to have something in the works that kind-of works and then play off that. This makes the mosquitoes rather instantly immune and likely couldn't be evolved around, anymore than a deer could evolve a defense for a high powered sniper rifle that appeared on the scene rather suddenly in evolutionary terms.

Just what we need (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921454)

more mosquitos.

Re:Just what we need (1)

ThatMegathronDude (1189203) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921598)

Exactly my thought, can't we make a mosquito that doesn't feed on humans at least?

Re:Just what we need (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921706)

Such mosquitoes would have a reduced survival chance and would die out, unless they would have been genetically modified to have other advantages over the natural population. Overall, there isn't any viable way of replacing the present population with the modified one.

Time will have to tell. (2, Interesting)

nebaz (453974) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921472)

Setting these mosquitoes up in the wild assumes they will 'take over' the role of existing mosquitoes within the environment. What advantage does being malaria-free have to these mosquitoes? If none, will they survive in the wild? (Or make a big enough dent in the population to matter). Also, what happens when these mosquitoes mate with existing mosquitoes?

Re:Time will have to tell. (2, Interesting)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921640)

Setting these mosquitoes up in the wild assumes they will 'take over' the role of existing mosquitoes within the environment. What advantage does being malaria-free have to these mosquitoes? If none, will they survive in the wild? (Or make a big enough dent in the population to matter). Also, what happens when these mosquitoes mate with existing mosquitoes?

Hey, of course the above are legitimate questions. Tell you what:
a. more funds need to be provided to the creators of the malaria-proof mosquitoes (and, maybe we will have the answer. But,again, maybe not...)
b. it is not necessarily that the malaria-proof mosquitoes would be the only solution to keep malaria at bay (i.e. may not be the most effective way to spend the money)
c. even more, it doesn't come immediately that eliminating malaria is a good thing - what if the presence of malaria keeps (by competition) other worse nasties from surfacing?

I guess what I'm trying to point out is: research is a bitch... an expensive one... personally, I love it, but I'm not that stupid to trust it

How about a bite-proof mosquito? (4, Funny)

DWMorse (1816016) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921474)

Something to REALLY benefit mankind!

Re:How about a bite-proof mosquito? (1)

Chih (1284150) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921574)

Now this is a good idea :)

Re:How about a bite-proof mosquito? (4, Funny)

Cynonamous Anoward (994767) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921698)

bite-proof mosquitoes? I didn't realize that there was a big problem with people biting mosquitoes!

Re:How about a bite-proof mosquito? (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922202)

Something to REALLY benefit mankind!

But what you're suggesting as human gratification might cause problems in the food chain. Mosquito feed their young with blood from warm-blooded animals, not restricted to humans. Other animals (frogs, fish, birds, etc.) feed off the mosquito population, and humans do eat some types of those animals.

Build a Better Mosquito (4, Funny)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921492)

and... umm... yeah.

Now they need AIDS-proof fags (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921526)

Linux users would have a field day!

Needs just one more mod ... (5, Insightful)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921540)

They need to be fitted with lasers on their heads to kill off all the other mosquitos.

Re:Needs just one more mod ... (1)

muindaur (925372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921600)

I wanted sharks with frickin' lasers on their heads! Not Misquitos! Oh looK, a laser pointer on my arm! All the enemy has to do is not get it pointed in his eye.

*presses button on chair, floor opens, scream heard*

Re:Needs just one more mod ... (5, Informative)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921626)

No need. There are already concepts designed to kill them with lasers all on their own:

http://intellectualventureslab.com/?p=653 [intellectu...reslab.com]

Re:Needs just one more mod ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922098)

The malaria will take care of that. Mosquitoes get it too.

Needed: A blood allergic mosquito (1)

Ultimate Heretic (1058480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921622)

As someone who grew up in a fairly mosquito-rich area, I would be happier to see them develop a mosquito with severe blood allergies. Still need them to reproduce, but spread them around and watch the suckers blow up if they grab the wrong type of bloodpop! Or how about a wing frequency that is not so annoying? Or make them afraid of the dark?

Re:Needed: A blood allergic mosquito (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921944)

Afraid of the dark is no good. Make them love the dark, so they stay away from my campfire.

TFA is a PR note. (2, Informative)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921642)

I sacrificed myself and RTFA. No need to click on the link - there is no more info than that in the summary.

Other diseases? (1)

bwayne314 (1854406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921704)

" as an unfortunate side-effect the mosquitoes happened to acquire the ability to transmit HIV"

Re:Other diseases? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922050)

" as an unfortunate side-effect the mosquitoes happened to acquire the ability to transmit HIV"

Evolution at it's finest. This would certainly help control the most overpopulated mammal on the planet.

What's needed are Romero Mosquitoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921754)

They need to develop cannibal mosquitoes that feed on other mosquitoes.

Mosquito infected with malaria??? (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921766)

Wait! I thought it was the humans that got infected with malaria and the mosquitoes were just carriers.

Re:Mosquito infected with malaria??? (3, Interesting)

blueg3 (192743) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921942)

The mosquitoes are actually infected, it just doesn't significantly negatively affect them. That's a common way of being a carrier.

Re:Mosquito infected with malaria??? (1)

bar-agent (698856) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922066)

The mosquitoes are actually infected, it just doesn't significantly negatively affect them.

I guess the hope is that the malariated mosquitos are significantly negatively affected, otherwise these new mosquitos aren't likely to out-compete their less desirable brethren.

Re:Mosquito infected with malaria??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922368)

Does this mean they can qualify as a Common Carrier status?

I created one years ago. (5, Funny)

pookemon (909195) | more than 4 years ago | (#32921780)

First malaria proof mosquito? I created one years ago.

*splat*

There's another.

guess what (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32921782)

I, for one, welcome our new blood sucking overlords.

Oh, wonderful. (3, Funny)

SvnLyrBrto (62138) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922014)

Great... just great.

Here's an idea. How about, instead of curing their diseases, we put out efforts instead into eradicating the bastards. It's not like we don't know how to drive a species into extinction. We've done it, or are on the verge of doing it, to many cool species. So why the hell can't we do it to one of the more bastardly unpleasant ones?

Any hippy that objects... let's make them extinct too.

Re:Oh, wonderful. (4, Insightful)

Jbcarpen (883850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922118)

First look at the breeding rate of all the different species we've driven extinct. Then compare to the reproduction rate of mosquitoes. Also compare the food sources and available habitats.

Problem with driving mosquitoes extinct is that they are among the (relatively) few species on the planet that can live almost anywhere we can, and regards us as food. It also only takes a few of them surviving, and then with their reproduction rate they're back very quickly in that area.

I'm not saying it couldn't be done, but it's be a bitch to do and there'd be a lot of bykill that we don't really want. It'd also take out a very low level creature in the foodchain.

Re:Oh, wonderful. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922246)

It'd also take out a very low level creature in the foodchain.

What the fuck do you mean "LOW", wetbar? Last I checked, we were eating you.

Signed,
The Mosquitos

Re:Oh, wonderful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922292)

Can you name one insect that we have driven to extinction? Insects are hard to kill off. They have a nasty habit of making it through "genetic bottlenecks." Nasty little buggers.

Re:Oh, wonderful. (2, Insightful)

PinkyGigglebrain (730753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922516)

The complete removal of mosquitoes would be nice but there would be add on effects.

Many other animals (humming birds and Dragonflies to name two) eat mosquitoes. If mosquitoes get wiped out it would likely cause problems for those other species, sure most of them would just eat more of the other insects in their diet but then those might get pushed into extinction which would further impact the predators. And a few of those that rely near exclusively on mosquitoes might be more important to human survival than we currently know. I'm not a biologist so I don't know how reliant other creatures are on mosquitoes and their predators.

Another factor that needs to be considered is the other animals that also get malaria, it doesn't just affect humans, and what impact that would have on their populations, some rodent may have a population explosion, eat all the grain in the fields and you get a famine that ends up killing more humans than the malaria did.

I think that before they let this moded bug into the wild they need to answer a few more questions about how its going to impact the environment.

As to the hippies ... , maybe for their next trick these researchers can try and eradicate the gene that make people so intolerant of world views that don't match their own.

Re:Oh, wonderful. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922610)

Mr. Cobra Bubbles says that the only reason the Earth hasn't been destroyed is because it's a habitat for the Mosquito.

Leave them alone...if you know what's good for you.

Cool (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922028)

So this means I can keep my old tires out back full of stagnant water again?

Re:Cool (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922214)

Sure, if you prefer to give mosquitoes a nest. It's only malaria. There are actually other diseases you can get from a mosquito bite.

For one reason or another, this news is worrisome to me. In a hundred years this may be considered a mistake. If a million people die from malaria annually, that's an extra metropolis we're adding to the world each year.

I know it's harsh, and it doesn't please me that people have to die and suffer, but it's a part of life.

Thank goodness... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922180)

It's a good thing that parasites aren't known to evolve quickly.

Just wait til the lawsuits (3, Funny)

Solandri (704621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922238)

Fast-forward 50 years. Natural mosquitoes have been eradicated, replaced by this new genetically modified mosquito. Malaria is wiped off the face of the earth. Two million lives a year are saved. There are rainbows in the sky. Cute puppies and kittens sleep together in every home.

Until some lawyer files a class action lawsuit. Since all mosquitoes are now the genetically modified variety, the researchers and company which developed the buggers and the governments which permitted it are now liable for the pain and suffering associated with every mosquito bite on the planet.

Cue unintended consequences in 3...2...1... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922288)

I wonder what unintended consequences this will have? Like causing malaria to mutate into something that can infect these mosquitos, or something bad the mosquitos do.

But are they more fit? (1)

RNLockwood (224353) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922320)

The plan is to replace the wild mosquitos with the genetically modified but if the wild mosquitos are more fit it probably won't work. Quite an achievement, though. Of course they could now create a super mosquito that is more fit, bites the hell out of us but doesn't pass on malaria. Might be worth it.

Next up: Super Mosquito (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922386)

First we find a gene we want expressed.
Next we breed a super mosquito which is much hardier, has better survivability and better mating potential.
Scary, but it actually could be someones thought process.

Finally, a study worthy of funding... (2, Insightful)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922444)

Maybe it's just me, but after reading for seemingly months about some seriously stupid studies being conducted, I finally come across one that seems to be worth every penny we would ever spend on it. Malaria via mosquito is a HUGE problem in certain parts of the world.

It's about time we stopped pissing money away, trying to figure out why water is wet, why alcohol in excess makes you think you can sing, or scientifically proving the whole chicken vs. egg thing (sadly, that last one is an actual study)...

This is all very well (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922506)

But now the trick is getting these genetically modified mosquitoes to out-compete the unmodified one.

By the way, if this is done Monsanto style, will we be charged a fee if we get bitten by one of these copyrighted patented trademarked proprietary mosquitoes?

Genetically modified mosquitoes... (1)

MoeDrippins (769977) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922512)

> The University of Arizona team reported that their genetically modified mosquitoes ...

What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

Um... well, I suppose that's good, but... (1)

epp_b (944299) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922614)

How about we a kill a good majority of the dang things instead?

A University of Manitoba researcher appears to be close to a solution [www.cbc.ca] that involves releasing sterilized male mosquitoes into the population.
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