You can wonder how the earth has ever survived without scientists messing with our genes. First they ruined the food supply with GMO “foods” and now they want to alter the genes of mosquitoes to stop malaria. Of course we should do something about malaria, but interfering with nature is just a disaster waiting to happen.
“The American researchers used gene-editing, a genetic engineering technique in which DNA can be inserted, replaced or deleted from a genome” Is there really anyone who thinks that this is a good idea? What if these new mosquitoes will appear to spread other diseases? Of what if it appears that will spread like a pest and ruin the whole ecological system of the area where they are released? What if they appear to be super mozzies, that cannot be killed and will spread all over the world? Messing with genes will always give unpredictable results and disasters will inevitably happen.
“mosquitoes with genes that prevent malaria transmission by producing malaria-blocking antibodies that are passed on to 99.5 percent of offspring.” I would like some basis for this. When I read the word antibodies a big red flag is raised, as I know that scientists have no clue what these things actually are. What is a malaria-blocking antibody? Does it prevent the malaria parasite to do whatever parasites do? Or do they mean something else? “so that their malaria-blocking genes enter the gene pool ” Again: what do they mean? Will the mosquitoes not be able anymore to spread the parasite? After all, malaria is a disease and a disease itself cannot spread. But a parasite can spread and make lots of people sick. But this all sounds like the scientists are just working with unproven theories, like they do with vaccines. Scary.
Besides, what about the 0.5% of the mosquitoes that do not develop these antibodies? What will happen with them? Could they be the ones that develop into super-mosquitoes? I doubt the scientists have looked into these things. When it’s about messing with genes scientists never pay attention to the negative sides. They are put into the category “we will deal with that when the problem shows up”. And that’s an extremely good way to rapidly destroy the earth so far that nothing can live here anymore.
“We do not propose that this strategy alone will eradicate malaria” Well. professor James, can you actually be sure that this strategy will have any kind of positive outcome? I mean positive outcome for the world, not for your bank account. “in conjunction with treatment and preventive drugs, future vaccines, mosquito-blocking bed nets and eradication of mosquito-breeding sites” Now we enter familiar territory. Give all people in areas with malaria drugs and you can be sure there soon won’t be so many cases of malaria anymore. Because everyone will die from the drugs. Vaccines? So far each and every vaccine has an efficacy of exactly 0%, so shall we leave the people in poor countries alone and not inject them with more toxic chemicals? Bed nets are quite effective, but how would you get all those nets to all the people who need them? And what will you do when the nets wear out and get holes in them? Eradication of mosquito breeding sites is just as impossible.
And maybe we shouldn’t try to eliminate mosquitoes. After all these very unpleasant creatures exist for a reason, as nothing in nature exists without a reason. So what if we eradicate malaria now in the same way we got rid of it in Europe ? For yes, in the past Europe also had malaria, but we have forgotten about that, as it’s so long ago. The disease didn’t disappear because we eradicated the mosquitoes. Malaria disappeared for the same reason that diphtheria and tuberculosis disappeared: the living standard got up enough to make the people strong enough not to get sick. I know about people who went to Africa, got bitten by malaria mosquitoes dozens of times and never got malaria. Simply because these were people with a strong body, who just wouldn’t get sick from the parasite.
So I suggest a very old-fashioned, low tech approach of the malaria problem. Give all those people clean water, good food and peace, keep doctors with poison away from them and within one generation malaria will pretty much become a thing from the past. And that shows that scientists don’t care one bit about the world or about the poor and sick people. They just want to play god and do whatever they want. And the results of their insanity are for others to deal with.