Genetically modified mosquitoes released to populate space Cayman Islands as part of the fight against the deadly dengue fever. Meanwhile, environmentalists are afraid that this innovation will crash.
Check-sterile mutants threatens environmental and epidemiological conditions for about 20% of the Earth, experts say. "Every form of nature determines the delicate balance. And if we remove the mosquito from the ecosystem, the consequences would be unpredictable and almost certainly difficult "- warned Pete Riley, the head of GM Freeze — nonprofit groups opposed to similar experiments in the wild.
Mosquito larvae feed on various species of animals and birds, and in the case of distribution of sterile mutants suffer entire food chain. In addition, the sharp disappearance of an important species could lead to the replacement of other insects. As a result, it is possible the emergence of new, even more dangerous diseases.
Attempt to change the properties of the natural biotype mutants produced for the first time in history. Artificial form of sterile male mosquitoes was placed in one of the commercial laboratories in Oxford. From May to September, scientists released more than three million sterile insects that must mate with wild female mosquitoes of the same species. The results followed almost immediately. Already in the early fall, experts noted decrease in the number of mosquitoes in the experimental areas by almost 80%.
Dengue fever is transmitted by mosquitoes and is considered a disease with high mortality. When vinegar (and in person "hunting" exclusively female) appear fever, muscle and joint pain, bleeding, and bleeding in the internal organs.
In areas where there is a real threat of the spread of the disease, is now home to more than 2.5 billion people, according to WHO. Doctors say at least 50 million infections annually. Thus any specific treatment or vaccine for dengue fever there. Unlike, for example, malaria, which is also spread by mosquitoes, dengue outbreaks are unpredictable. Moreover, from these insects do not protect the traditional mosquito nets, as mosquitoes actively move and eat not only at night but during the day, in the heat.