Frog Amphibians are becoming a vanishing species. There are a number of causes for them dieing. But the most recent and worst cause has been discovered.
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 people in Malaysia last year. Malaysia has released 6, genetically modified Aedes aegypti male mosquitoes into a forest in a bid to curb rates of dengue fever 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.
Critics also say such plans could leave a vacuum in the ecosystem that is then filled by another insect species, potentially introducing new diseases. A similar trial in the Cayman Islands last year - the first time genetically modified mosquitoes have been set loose in the wild after years of laboratory experiments and hypothetical calculations - resulted in a dramatic drop in the mosquito population in a small area studied by researchers.
Government authorities have tried to allay the concerns by saying they are conducting small-scale research and will not rush into any widespread release of mosquitoes.
The Malaysian government-run Institute for Medical Research said it released about 6, non-biting sterile male lab mosquitoes in an uninhabited forest area in eastern Malaysia on December Another 6, wild male Aedes aegypti mosquitoes were also placed in the area for scientific comparison, it said in a statement.
It was the first such trial in Asia, an official in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to make public statements. In the Cayman Islands, genetically altered sterile male mosquitoes were also set loose by scientists in a acre region between May and October last year.
By August, mosquito numbers in that area dropped by 80 per cent compared with a neighbouring area where no sterile mosquitoes were released. The number of dengue-linked deaths in Malaysia increased by 52 per cent last year from 88 deaths in The total dengue infections rose 11 per cent from to more than 46, cases last year.
Dengue fever is common in Asia and Latin America. Symptoms include high fever, joint pains and nausea, but in severe cases, it can lead to internal bleeding, circulatory shutdown and death. There is no known cure or vaccine. Share or comment on this article: Genetically modified mosquitoes released in Malaysia sparks fears of uncontrollable new species Most watched News videos.Endangered species habitat should be protected and these impacts minimized.
By protecting habitat, entire communities of animals and plants can be protected together. Parks, wildlife refuges, and other open space should be protected near your community.
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I remain the official Senior Maverick for Wired, a magazine I helped co-found 25 years ago. I do one article for Wired per year.
My most recent published writings are listed here, in chronological order. My newest book, The Inevitable, a New York Times bestseller, is now available in paperback. The. African Wildlife Photographer and Wildlife Photographer of the Year Greg du Toit shares his latest fine art wildlife photography collections in an African photography blog.
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