all 4 comments

[–]FormosaOolong 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

you're right, this smells dirty.

[–]wendolynne 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (2 children)

iirc, the plan was to release sterile insects to decrease the birth rate (hatch rate?) and thus the population. The genetically modified would not reproduce, so the disaster scenarios are minimized. That's the theory.

[–]i_cansmellthat[S] 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (1 child)

If I remember correctly, Oxitec was genetically modifying the mosquitoes to render them sterile, but other companies (there are a few) were injecting them with a bacteria (Wolbachia). Only males were to be released with the infected bacteria, and their offspring would be sterile due to the bacteria. This was the method slated for the US.

(Time magazine article)[http://time.com/5025250/mosquito-control-mosquitomate/]

Problem is, the companies seem to be able to guarantee a male release of 99.97% max, meaning .03% released would be female. If those females mutate to adjust to the bacteria, could it pose problems if a female mosquito carrying other pathogens bites a person? No one really knows.

I haven't researched this much in the last 6 months or so, I hit a wall in finding any new info other than slated releases. Oxitec did try to stop the company using the wolbachia due to the lack of a pure male population release, but I think they lost. I couldn't find any info on actual releases, I should revisit this.

[–]wendolynne 2 insightful - 1 fun2 insightful - 0 fun3 insightful - 1 fun -  (0 children)

releasing sterile mosquitos (edit: not GMO according to the web page) looks like it's gone commercial https://mosquitomate.com/how-it-works/. Old news. The latest is a gmo fungus that attacks the bloodsuckers http://www.digitaljournal.com/tech-and-science/science/essential-science-transgenic-fungus-kills-malaria-mosquitoes/article/551152