Mutant mosquitoes: Malaysia release of genetically modified insects sparks fears of uncontrollable new species


Daily Mail
January 26, 2011

Malaysia has released 6,000 genetically modified mosquitoes into a forest in the first experiment of its kind in Asia aimed at curbing dengue fever.

The field test is meant to pave the way for the official use of genetically engineered Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes to mate with females and produce offspring with shorter lives, thus curtailing the population.

Only female Aedes aegypti mosquitoes spread dengue fever, which killed 134 people in Malaysia last year.

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However, the plan has sparked criticism by some Malaysian environmentalists, who fear it might have unforeseen consequences, such as the inadvertent creation of uncontrollable mutated mosquitoes.

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