Kill them all (mosquitoes) with genetic engineering and let God sort out the mutant survivors

“Plan to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida gets go-ahead” (Guardian) is exciting to me since one of the best things that we could do for humanity would be to kill all of the world’s mosquitoes (in addition to the epic level of annoyance, they are responsible for killing 1 million people/year?).

Of course, the only thing more American than getting a mosquito bite is litigation. From the article:

A plan to release a horde of 750 million genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida and Texas is a step closer to fruition after a state regulator approved the idea, over the objections of many environmentalists.

Oxitec, a British biotechnology company, has targeted the US as a test site for a special version of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. The mosquitoes contain a protein that, when passed down to female offspring, will lessen their chances of survival and, it is hoped, prevent them from biting people and spreading diseases such as dengue fever and Zika.

But the plan has caused uproar among conservation groups, which have sued the EPA for allegedly failing to ascertain the environmental impact of the scheme. Scientists have also expressed concerns about the oversight of the trial.

If this goes bad, we can blame Donald Trump and what my Facebook friends characterize as his “defunding” of the EPA (I wish someone would “defund” our household in the same way that Trump has defunded the Federal agencies that he has been accused of defunding!).

Personally, I am excited! The Mosquito book referenced below says that these insects have zero redeeming value. There are no animals, for example, that would be significantly inconvenienced if mosquitoes were eliminated. In other words, there is no animal that depends on the mosquito for its subsistence.

A tax-free resident of the Sunshine State (from the Corkscrew Swamp sanctuary):


8 thoughts on “Kill them all (mosquitoes) with genetic engineering and let God sort out the mutant survivors

  1. It’s better to be a mosquito in Florida than an insensitive Lecturer at UCLA. The mosquitos have more moral worth, and don’t you forget it.

  2. Although I am a geneticist (?because) I am inclined to doubt that the long-term elimination of disease-carrying mosquitos will be altogether as cost-free as is touted. I have no good reason to justify my doubt; just basic scepticism.

  3. No mention in the Guardian article of why the State of Florida is taking this step. Why are mosquitos so bad in Florida? Are they increasing or decreasing? What’s the disease prevalence? Are environmental safeguards causing an increase in mosquito population, or is it global warming (and thus we should just suffer through it?) How many people get sick and die from mosquito-borne disease in Florida? It’s a very poorly-written article offering no perspective on the issue.

    It sounds like the usual suspects would rather save mosquitos than save humans.

    It looks like there’s nothing but disaster on the horizon anyway. I don’t know how humanity is going to find the will to live much longer. The more we look, the more doomed we seem to be. Deutsche Bank just released an analysis showing that we have a 1-in-3 change of a major disaster worse than COVID-19 striking in the next ten years, rising to 56% in twenty years. How do you price that into markets and insurance? What do you tell your kids? “Honey, flip a coin. By the time you graduate from college, we stand a better than average chance of being wiped out by so many different disasters, who cares if you don’t go back to school because of COVID?”

    Really, we should just quit now. The Universe is out to git us. If it’s not a volcano or a huge solar flare, it’ll be another pandemic or a global war.
    Here’s your dose of doom for today:$RPS_ANALYST_FIRSTNAM&rwsite=RPS_EN-PROD&rwobj=ReDisplay.Start.class&document=PROD0000000000509478

    Bitcoin has taken notice of the Deutsche Bank report:

    “This could mean that cryptocurrency miners will no longer be able to operate machines to verify transactions, and any cryptocurrency owned will turn into dust if the global power system is knocked out.”

    Wouldn’t that be hilarious? Everybody wakes up one morning and all the cryptocurrency is the empty set. Gone. Blank screens. You should have gone to medical school after all. The economy is shut down, the banks don’t work, and the government has confiscated your guns.

  4. Once most of the genetically-inferior mosquitoes die off, won’t they be left with a race of genetically-superior super-mosquitoes who will take over the ecosystem?

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