Extinction of a Species – By Design

I am not sure if we should be troubled about the work being done to eliminate mosquito species that are vectors for diseases.

This is no longer science fiction. There are multiple initiatives which follow variants of a basic approach : “Make males whose offspring will only be males. Then release a few of these engineered males into the wild”

This approach, as some experiments have shown, have the potential to rapidly eliminate the species within a few generations in that area. This can be a very short period. Less than a couple of years.

There is no way that this can be isolated to a particular area. Any such initiative will soon spread worldwide and make the species extinct.

These “blood suckers” which cause malaria, dengue, chikungunya are not just disease carriers. They are also food for other animals. They are a part of the food chain. 

Only the females feed on blood. Both male and female mosquitoes primarily feed on nectar. The same thing that honey bees feed on. They also perform the same function that bees do – they pollinate the flowers (Some have argued that mosquitoes are not the great pollinators they are suspected to be).

We are entering an era of genetically engineered plant and animal species of all kinds. These mosquitoes are merely the beginning. Many of these species will get into the wild without any controls because the species are created by individuals or small groups of people in DIY labs.

Somehow, the thought of man made genetic solutions that eliminate or replace an entire existing species troubles me.

What about you?

Here is the mosquito article – https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/the-bite-that-can-wait-118082500638_1.html