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140 comments

Correction for the Summary (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038542)

These bloodsuckers have been altered to have shorter lifespans.

Actually the modified Aedes aegypti in question are not bloodsuckers. From the AFP article:

In the first experiment of its kind in Asia, about 6,000 male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were released ...

Like Homo sapiens, only the females drain the life out of their victims. The male Aedes aegypti only feed on plant juices (but I'm guessing pass the short lifespan trait on more effectively).

Moderators, ball's in your court.

Re:Correction for the Summary (4, Insightful)

kenrblan (1388237) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038648)

For your Karma's sake, you should hope the moderators are male and not overly politically correct. Otherwise, kudos on a good one.

Re:Correction for the Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038744)

This IS slashdot!

Re:Correction for the Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039034)

For your Karma's sake, you should hope the moderators are male and not overly politically correct.

Otherwise, kudos on a good one.

This is Slashdot. He's got nothing to worry about.

Re:Correction for the Summary (4, Funny)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039330)

you should hope the moderators are male

Wait, are you saying females are too hot-headed, insecure, and vindictive to acknowledge their succubus-like traits?

Re:Correction for the Summary (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038662)

Fortunately, mosquitoes don't have bank accounts.

Re:Correction for the Summary (2, Funny)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038684)

You believe this chauvinistic propaganda that only female mosquitoes drain the life out of their victims? The scientists are male, too, you know.

Re:Correction for the Summary (4, Informative)

rhook (943951) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039042)

Male mosquito's cannot drink blood, females of some mosquito species require a meal of blood in order to lay eggs.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosquito#Feeding_habits_of_adults [wikipedia.org]

"Both male and female mosquitoes are nectar feeders, but the females of many species are also capable of drinking blood from many mammals. Females do not require blood for their own survival, but they do need supplemental substances such as protein and iron to develop eggs.

With regard to host location, carbon dioxide and organic substances produced from the host, humidity, and optical recognition play important roles. In Aedes the search for a host takes place in two phases. First, the mosquito exhibits a nonspecific searching behavior until the perception of host stimulants then it follows a targeted approach.[14]

Most mosquito species are crepuscular (dawn or dusk) feeders. During the heat of the day most mosquitoes rest in a cool place and wait for the evenings, although they may still bite if disturbed. Some species, like Asian tiger mosquito, are known to fly and feed during daytime.

Both male and female are nectar feeders.
Mosquitoes are adept at infiltration and have been known to find their way into residences via deactivated air conditioning units.[15]

Prior to and during blood feeding, they inject saliva into the bodies of their source(s) of blood. This saliva serves as an anticoagulant: without it, the female mosquito's proboscis would quickly become clogged with blood clots. Female mosquitoes hunt their blood host by detecting carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1-octen-3-ol from a distance.

Mosquitoes of the genus Toxorhynchites never drink blood.[16] This genus includes the largest extant mosquitoes, the larvae of which prey on the larvae of other mosquitoes. These mosquito eaters have been used in the past as mosquito control agents, with varying success.[17]"

Re:Correction for the Summary (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039452)

You believe this chauvinistic propaganda that only female mosquitoes drain the life out of their victims?

Have you ever been bitten by a mosquito with a penis? I rest my case.

Re:Correction for the Summary (0)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038716)

Plants are alive as well.
While males do not suck blood they "drain the life out of their victims" as much as females do.

Re:Correction for the Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038748)

Plants are alive as well. While males do not suck blood they "drain the life out of their victims" as much as females do.

You are incorrect, males drink or "eat" ... let's say consume to end the pedantry ... nectar. Nectar is not vital to a plant's life and I believe is there for insects to eat to increase pollen distribution.

Re:Correction for the Summary (2)

swell (195815) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039066)

Furthermore the lifespan of the male mosquito is already very short. A week for most of the 2,500 species.

Re:Correction for the Summary (2)

aliquis (678370) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039518)

Furthermore the lifespan of the male mosquito is already very short. A week for most of the 2,500 species.

Their scientists must be creationists.

So they develop some individuals who die quicker (but probably mature at the same age? If not they would just get kids at a similar rate compared to life span? And they would increase evolution rate?) hoping that they wont be able to have as much off-spring and thereby limit their numbers? (I don't know anything about the disease or what logic the scientists use.)

Anyway, so they get less off-spring and dies of quicker. Less off-spring = Smaller numbers of said mosquitoes vs non-genetically modified mosquitoes = even less the next time and so on so on.

Then what? =P

Release new ones?

I call fail.

Re:Correction for the Summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039246)

Moderators, ball's in your mouth

There.. fixed that for you.

Re:Correction for the Summary (2)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039438)

(but I'm guessing pass the short lifespan trait on more effectively).

Actually, this batch of mosquitoes is also sterile. This is an early experiment, they plan to recapture most of these mosquitoes, presumably to study whether this shorter lifespan is effective in avoiding dengue fever before they start spreading the genetic modification amongst the mosquito population and have them biting people.

Re:Correction for the Summary (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040974)

Question: "What's the difference between a Lawyer, a mosquito and a Vampyre?
Answer: "Only Lawyers also suck the blood of the dead"

obligatory (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038548)

what could possibly go wrong?

Re:obligatory (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039104)

The fools! Do they not know that a candle that burns half as long burns twice as bright?! These are obviously a strain of replicant mosquitoes that posses superior physical capability.

Re:obligatory (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039466)

Hopefully a gang of biologists and other life scientists gets together and savagely beats to death you and every other fucktard on /. that tags EVERY MOTHERFUCKING BIOLOGY STORY with that shit.

Die you ignorance-promoting pile of puke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040310)

Fuck off and die. That goes for the mouth-breathing, basement-dwelling, morbidly obese, non-bathing, ignorance-promoting dumbfucks that modded your mental diarrhea up too. Just die. Painfully and humiliatingly. Like a Fundy Bible-banging priest being sodomized to death by a walrus, both dressed up in black latex, high on meth, in a vat full of excrement. On national TV and Youtube. Die, die, die.

Re:Die you ignorance-promoting pile of puke (1)

murphtall (1979734) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041106)

man, did you ever grudge-f*ck a good thesaurus with that one there, wow, hats off...

Awesome! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038584)

What could possibly go wrong?

How will they compete? (4, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038680)

How do they expect these shorter lived males to outcompete their wild bretheren? If the trait is to become sufficiently distributed in the population for this to make a difference then they would have to have some method of making them superior breeders to offset the shortened window in which to breed.

Re:How will they compete? (5, Funny)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038814)

They were bred for really short life spans and really big penises. Plus, the scientists supplied each one of them with a tiny red Ferrari!

Re:How will they compete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040754)

Great - so in 20 years of our evolution (essentially stagnant at that) we have 40 years of mosquito evolution.

Re:How will they compete? (4, Informative)

arivanov (12034) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038866)

Dunno, in order to do that you need to release not 6000 but 6000000 the way they did it with screwworm flies in the south of the USA (and continue in Latin America).

The screwworm control method is to release flies sterilised through radiation by the truckload so that most eggs are from at least one sterile parent so they do not hatch - hence no screwworm damage to lifestock. Year after a year after a year until there is no more screwworm fly (USA in 1982).

So there is a scientific basis for this, just clearly not enough mosquitoes being released.

Re:How will they compete? (1)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041094)

This is probably pilot study.

For more info on screw flies ee:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cochliomyia_hominivorax [wikipedia.org]

If you want to read a good science fiction story (I highly recommend it) read "The Screw Fly Solution" by Raccoona Sheldon aka James Tiptree, Jr. aka Alice Sheldon. There's a TV movie as well:

http://www.hulu.com/watch/187916/masters-of-horror-the-screwfly-solution [hulu.com]

Registration required, adult themes.

Creationists (1)

medv4380 (1604309) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038868)

They clearly failed evolution 101

Re:Creationists (1)

severoon (536737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039576)

What's evolution got to do with this. It's enough that they released the skeeters while praying to allah.

Re:Creationists (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040532)

Evolution favors those most likely to reproduce. Mosquitoes with shorter lifespans are, at least on the face of it, less likely to produce and therefore less likely to pass on their genes.

Re:How will they compete? (3, Interesting)

Pav (4298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038890)

If this is the same project as in Australia there is no DNA modification. Instead infected mosquitos are infected with a bacteria called Wolbachia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:How will they compete? (1)

Pav (4298) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038998)

Ooops... one too many "infected"s. Need coffee. The linked wikipedia page specifically mentions dengue fever right at the bottom btw. Interestingly wolbachia can only be transmitted vertically (ie. from mother to offspring). Infected females produce more offspring than uninfected females, and if an uninfected female mates with an infected male then some or all of her eggs will die. For more information see this [mosquitoage.org] page.

Re:How will they compete? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038926)

If Mosquitoes genetics are anything like humans...
I would think it would be more logical to Genetically alter them so after they mate their are only male offspring who are healthy and live long. While the female dies off early or not at all. So they are themselves genetically viable mates for the duration. However the group that passes that is harmful to humans die off quicker.

Re:How will they compete? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039328)

I wonder how sex is determined in mosquitos? In some animals it isn't anything like humans (XY chromosomes). Crocs, for example, determine sex based upon temp of environment surrounding the egg.

Re:How will they compete? (1)

dmomo (256005) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038932)

I would think that from these modified mosquitoes, the offspring with the "least reduced" lifespans, will win out. Rinse and repeat, and over time, they will re-evolve to achieve the most efficient lifespan for the species, which will be probably exactly what it is now, barring any change in the environment.

Re:How will they compete? (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039016)

You didn't read the part in the article that said they'd be delivered in BMWs and learned to love commitment and talking about their feelings.

Re:How will they compete? (1)

c6gunner (950153) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039540)

How do they expect these shorter lived males to outcompete their wild bretheren? If the trait is to become sufficiently distributed in the population for this to make a difference then they would have to have some method of making them superior breeders to offset the shortened window in which to breed.

AFAIK, female mosquito only mate once, and aggressively fend off further attempts by males (insert joke about marriage here). So I'm not sure that the length of the males lifespan would be all that critical to whether or not he gets to mate. The length of the female lifespan, on other hand, would be a bit more important, since they tend to lay at least 2 or 3 batches of eggs.

Long story short, I don't actually have a solid answer for ya, but it's wrong to assume that length of life is directly proportional to ability to breed. For instance, a human stops being reproductively viable after 40-60 years of life, but live to be 70+ years old. Decreasing the average human lifespan for a sub-group by a decade or two probably wouldn't do anything at all to limit their ability to compete/procreate.

Re:How will they compete? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040366)

Hey man, you sig is kinda not cool anymore.

Opposite effect, they'll do even better (1)

Albinoman (584294) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040614)

With a shorter lifespan they should be able to evolve much quicker, having many more generations.

Re:How will they compete? (1)

ignavus (213578) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040636)

How do they expect these shorter lived males to outcompete their wild bretheren? If the trait is to become sufficiently distributed in the population for this to make a difference then they would have to have some method of making them superior breeders to offset the shortened window in which to breed.

They're rock star mosquitoes. Shorter lifespans, but they, ah, reproduce a lot. And play guitar. And take drugs. And then all the other mosquitoes will want to be like them.

I'm sure there were plenty of mosquitoes at Woodstock.

Frickin' Lasers. (5, Interesting)

nametaken (610866) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038686)

Well sure, this is clever and all... but I still prefer the shock-and-awe approach to mosquito control:

http://www.ted.com/talks/nathan_myhrvold_could_this_laser_zap_malaria.html [ted.com]

You can just f-fwd to the 12m mark for the craziness.

Frickin' Patented (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039302)

Well sure, this is clever and all... but I still prefer the shock-and-awe approach to mosquito control:

http://www.ted.com/talks/nathan_myhrvold_could_this_laser_zap_malaria.html [ted.com]

You can just f-fwd to the 12m mark for the craziness.

Dear sir or madam, could you tell me how much it costs to license that invention from Intellectual Ventures [intellectualventures.com], the company of former Microsoft bigwigs? Why is no one using this technology [intellectu...reslab.com]? Could it be ... cost of licensing?

Think of the children! (2)

Xtense (1075847) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038710)

IANAGeneticist/Biologist, but... wouldn't evolution favor mosquitoes with longer lifespans? After a couple of generations, the weakened gene will get excised and the bugs will go back to the way they were.

Re:Think of the children! (4, Insightful)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038942)

IAABiologist, and what will most likely happen is that their experiment will die off without affecting the rest of the population. The actual process of disabling or excising a gene would probably take a while, TBH; it's way more likely that evolution will simply select against the released mosquitoes. In order to win, Malaysia would have to replace all of the males in the population, which is just silly, or give their mosquitoes some advantage, like breeding more aggressively (which is how our favourite examples of humans screwing with ecosystems, alien invasive species, become invasive.) But that's not even compatible with their goal!

What they really need to do is to poison the food supply: vaccinate humans with something that targets mosquitoes only.

Re:Think of the children! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040718)

What they really need to do is to poison the food supply: vaccinate humans with something that targets mosquitoes only.

You definitely watched too much Stargate Atlantis.

Re:Think of the children! (1)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040726)

Or they could just keep releasing gimpy males each year to offset their disadvantage. The idea isn't necessarily to reduce the number of female mosquitoes. It's to drive down their average age - because in order to transmit a disease, they first have to bite a human carrier and then someone else who gets infected. Shorter-lived mosquitoes have a much smaller chance of doing both.

Won't the normal specimens be more successful? (2)

ikarous (1230832) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038722)

My understanding of biology is not exactly advanced, but won't the normal mosquito specimens live longer and thus reproduce more often than the engineered offspring with shorter lifespans? Unless whole geographic areas were populated by the genetically modified offspring, I would think that this measure would be unsuccessful in the long run.

Re:Won't the normal specimens be more successful? (2)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038876)

You don't know females very well...

Once a male (insert species here) gets a female (insert hopefully same species here) to mate, she's done. She's not going to want to do it again period, ever, very long time at least anyway. So for male that gets that female, that ends a family tree worth of (insert speciesies here).

Whatcouldgowrong? (1)

AnotherAnonymousUser (972204) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038750)

They aimed for shorter lifespans and got longer ones. In hindsight, they realized they must've put a decimal in the wrong place or something. These are not mundane details!

Question (1)

moeluv (1785142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038766)

I won't go into whether or not releasing gm organisms into the environment is a good idea, I'll leave that up to people better educated in genetics. I would have to ask the question though, if these mosquitos have a shortned life span wouldn't it reduce the chance that they would have an opportunity to breed? Might it not have been more effective to introduce a gene that caused all male offspring to slow and inhibit breeding?

Re:Question (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038892)

I say just make 'em all gay. They'll be too busy decorating their apartments and marching in pride parades to infect anyone.

hmmm.. (1)

dr_strang (32799) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038772)

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WR

Re:hmmm.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039744)

The experiment can be a resounding success. Then this hatches further genetic manipulation schemes with different species. Eventually after several tries, hilarity ensues. I mean tragedy.

Evolution (1)

mmmmbeer (107215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038780)

This could be an interesting test of evolution in progress. One possibility is that there will be a brief period in which the mosquitoes have shorter life spans, but over time the introduced trait will be bred out of the species. Another possibility is that this will trigger a period of change in accordance with the "punctuated equilibrium" version of evolution. I find it very unlikely in any case that the shorter lifespan will become the selected trait, unless they continue to release such "modified" males in an ongoing fashion.

Re:Evolution (1)

landoltjp (676315) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038956)

I think that long term, the shorter lifespan will be in the mosquitos' favour, as strong genetic mutations will show up faster, since they're burning through generations much faster.

It could in fact have the opposite effect of what the producers hoped for, long term. Time will tell.

Malaysia and Genetic Experiments (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038824)

Does it worry anyone else that a "developing" country is releasing genetic experiments into the wild?

Re:Malaysia and Genetic Experiments (2)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040796)

Does it worry anyone else that a "developing" country is releasing genetic experiments into the wild?

Malaysia may still be developing but they are not really third world either. Many of their scientists and engineers are world class and it shows in their approach to infrastructure development. Genetically engineering mosquitoes to deal with disease is a classic long term investment with a high payoff at the end.

Mosquitoes go away! (1)

syockit (1480393) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038832)

And here I was just trying out the programs from a generic ad-ridden website [allmosquitos.com] which produce high-pitched sounds (even those outside of hearing range) to see if they really would go away. I used to have it running on a notebook baco then, and if my memory serves me correctly, they should render the mosquitoes immobile. But now I still am seeing them flying about happily despite the program running. Crap, it had a stack overflow and crashed! Anyways, if the new breed has shorter lifespan, how should they survive in the wild? Or does it mean we have to keep introducing them periodically?

Another Idea (1)

screwzloos (1942336) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038858)

If they are going to go through the whole effort of genetic modification, why not instead modify the species so the females also only eat plant matter, and eliminate the blood transfer problem entirely? The modified lineage would likely be able to outbreed the blood suckers just because the necessary resource is that much more plentiful.

Then again, any fiddling with nature can (and likely will) go awry, but I'm not sure this idea would be any more risky than the one they implemented.

Re:Another Idea (1)

ChromeAeonium (1026952) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040188)

If they are going to go through the whole effort of genetic modification, why not instead modify the species so the females also only eat plant matter, and eliminate the blood transfer problem entirely?

Probably because they can't. Unless that's only controlled by a few proteins, and it's probably not, that would be one heck of a modification. Genetic engineering, at this point anyway, really can't do things that complex. Theoretically, yes, someday that will be doable, but probably not right now. Real genetic engineering isn't at all like what you'd see in a movie where you can just make any change you'd like to an organism.

Then again, any fiddling with nature can (and likely will) go awry

If you've eaten lately, or haven't died of smallpox, you can thank messing with nature. I'm more afraid of nature than messing with nature.

Forgive my ignorance (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038874)

Instead of modifying them for shorter lifespans, wouldn't it make more sense to modify them so that they, you know, don't carry dengue fever? Or failing that, modify them so that the females quickly die after first exposure to dengue? I'm not really sure that creating a mosquito that lives fast, dies young, and leaves a beautiful corpse really helps with the "not spreading disease" goal...

Re:Forgive my ignorance (3, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039002)

Instead of modifying them for shorter lifespans, wouldn't it make more sense to modify them so that they, you know, don't carry dengue fever? Or failing that, modify them so that the females quickly die after first exposure to dengue? I'm not really sure that creating a mosquito that lives fast, dies young, and leaves a beautiful corpse really helps with the "not spreading disease" goal...

Current gene modification technology basically works by breaking things and looking and what that did. They got a fully functional mosquito that dies faster than the time it takes to infect people on average... they reproduce it in captivity and flood the area with these guys hoping that this will make a significant dent in the rate of infection.

Your idea would require technology beyond what people are currently capable of. It would be awesome, but so would jetpacks that suck in mosquitoes for fuel .

Need a GM to alter FEMALE mosquito's lifespan (4, Interesting)

Nyetworker (460181) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038908)

What they really need is a genetic modification that leaves the male mosquitos essentially unaltered, but causes the females to have a shortened lifespan, ideally unable to reach sexual maturity. GM males would continue to compete with normal males for surviving females; each successful mating by a GM male would produce a new generation of GM males to continue the process, but all females of that generation would die before ever having a chance to bite a human or breed.

Re:Need a GM to alter FEMALE mosquito's lifespan (1)

budgenator (254554) | more than 3 years ago | (#35041096)

I assumed that when they said "males with shortened life span" they meant not that the males and only the males had a shortened lifespan but that it's offspring would irregardless of their sex have shortened life spans and then non-infectious species would out reproduce them in the wild.

Except (3, Informative)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038950)

Dengue is not a human disease. It is a mosquito disease that affects humans. An infected mosquito transmits the virus to her offspring, so it doesn't matter how fast the "turnover" of the colony is, you will still have dengue carrying mosquitoes if the infected parent is allowed to lay eggs. I am assuming that these mosquitoes do survive to lay eggs, otherwise what would be the point of "releasing them" in the first place? In fact if anything, this could speed up the spread of dengue throughout humans (and mosquitoes) by increasing the amount of eggs laid/time due to the shorter life cycle and thus the population of dengue-infected mosquitoes. Someone hasn't thought this through. If you're going to play god, at least make sure you've considered all the possibilities (including the ones you don't like) first.

Re:Except (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040850)

Dengue is not a human disease. It is a mosquito disease that affects humans.

What does that even mean? It's a human disease spread by mosquitoes (and other forms of human-to-human blood transfer). For a mosquito it's not a disease: they are infected but not affected. Unlike other parasites the virus doesn't even need a mosquito in its life cycle.

Comments funny, Dengue serious (4, Insightful)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 3 years ago | (#35038962)

I know the comments so far follow the easy pattern -- either "what could possibly go wrong, lol" and "doesn't evolution kinda favor *longer* lives?" And I'm not entirely comfortable with human populations being used as guinea pigs for disease research -- cf. Tuskeegee et. al.

But Dengue Fever [wikipedia.org] is some serious stuff. It's called "break-bone fever" for a reason -- the muscle and joint pain is debilitating, and lasts for weeks or months. It's one of those things that keeps poor communities impoverished -- each person infected requires care-giving, taking two or three healthy people out of the economy for every one infected.

There's no vaccine, and nothing on the way until 2015 at least -- like many tropical diseases, there's more money to be made from lengthening a rich white guy's m@nh00d than there is in lengthening a poor brown woman's life.

So as leery as I am of making random modifications to the DNA of an uncontrollable pest... I can at least understand the motivation.

Re:Comments funny, Dengue serious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040428)

In other words

"If you are against this mosquito release you must be racist - or at the very least a white man with erectile dysfunction"

Re:Comments funny, Dengue serious (2)

Penicillus (755795) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040478)

This is a good thing. I am a returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Malaysia. While I was there, several of us went camping in the Taman Negara (the rainforest that is located along the spine of the Malay peninsula), and one of us became ill with Dengue fever. We had a difficult time bringing him out. He developed a high fever, was very sick and was hospitalized - fortunately he mad a complete recovery. This is a pilot project, and I wish the Malaysians well. If the project works, economically, environmentally and otherwise, and more genetically modified mosquitoes are released, Malaysia could benefit considerably.

Missing part of the summary... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35038976)

Unfortunately, they all died before they could breed.

sterile may be better (3, Interesting)

swell (195815) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039026)

In California we release many thousands of sterile male Medflies at the first sign of an infestation. This has been remarkably successful in protecting valuable crops. The dollar value of these crops is well known. What is the dollar value of human lives and health? If that were clearly understood, perhaps more effort would go into eradication of dengue and malaria.

Re:sterile may be better (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039146)

"perhaps more effort would go into eradication of dengue and malaria."

or less.

Re:sterile may be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039446)

>What is the dollar value of human lives and health?

Long may we not know that

Re:sterile may be better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35040638)

When we eradicate malaria, what do we do with all the extra humans?

Re:sterile may be better (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040812)

When we eradicate malaria, what do we do with all the extra humans?

Thats the beauty of it. In the winter, they freeze to death!

(But this is in Malaysa)

Doh! Maybe they can get jobs in night markets selling LED torches.

Re:sterile may be better (1)

Xyrus (755017) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040704)

Oh I wouldn't worry too much. Over the next century as the warm climates shift northward, the southern US will get their share of tropical diseases. Assuming we haven't driven this country straight into the ground by then, I expect cures and treatments in short order.

Fewer things will prod officials into motion faster than the cattle prod of their own constituencies.

Lifespan = interval of evolution (1)

Infirmo (449121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039152)

Umm, wouldn't a shorter lifespan effectively speed up evolution of the species in the long run? And in the short run, since females incubate their young in the ingested blood, wouldn't a shorter lifespan lead to more breeding and thus more blood consumption?

The Malaysian remake of Blade Runner (4, Funny)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039156)

We know how this ends, a group of genetically enhanced mosquitos will break into the Malaysian laboratory leaving a trail of bodies while being pursued by Rick "The Flyswatter" Deckard.

"I've seen things you people wouldn't believe... sweaty white skin on the shoulder of a tourist... I watched bug lights glitter in the darkness at the Tannhauser Gate..."

This may be a HUGE mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039334)

We all know that arthropod-borne disease is an issue. Not just dengue, Malaria, west nile, but things like VEE, WEE, etc are carried. HOWEVER, it is likely that the mosquito also carries a vector that transfers genes across ALL mammals, and perhaps across all eukaryote. These would be responsible for causing us to differentiate quickly. If we disturb this, then we may be looking at the actual in-breding of the human species, but possibly also of other species, leading to our eventual downfall.

Just because you CAN do something, does not mean that you should.

Windbourne.

If so its the least of our problems (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35040882)

On the time scale for which your theory could be an issue we will most likely move ourselves into artificial environments, leaving mozzies behind entirely. Maybe this will stop us from evolving. More likely our direct genetic fiddling will take its place. Or we kill ourselves off and the original Earth habitat continues on and a different species starts making our mistakes.

Jose Greckos de los Muertos we called them. ... (1)

WebManWalking (1225366) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039344)

Vince: "... Flamenco Dancers of Death. They would swoop down and carry off small babies in their beaks. ..."

Sheldon: "Their BEAKS! Mosquitoes with BEAKS!"

Vince: "... Their great wings flapping off into the sunset."

shorter lifespan - faster mutations! (0)

goffster (1104287) | more than 3 years ago | (#35039496)

The more generations you get in, the faster you get to adapt. This is shortsightedness at its worst.

i hate mosquitos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35039788)

they suck my blood really hard. need to kill them all.

http://www.msg2me.com

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