What is worst case scenario if genetically altered sterile male mosquitoes released to fight Zika?

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[W]hat could possibly go wrong with unleashing a whole bunch of genetically engineered mosquitoes on a population?

The worst-case scenario, according to Oxitec CEO Hadyn Parry: “That it doesn’t work.”

Oxitec’s mosquitoes are engineered to limit the population. They only make male mosquitoes since the female mosquitoes are the ones that bite. Those engineered bugs mate with female mosquitoes and pass on a gene that kills little baby mosquitoes before they ever mature into adults.

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“If you think about our mosquito, it’s the same as a wild one,” Parry explained…It shouldn’t have any impact on human health (these ones don’t bite), nor on the environment.

Chelsea Smartt…argued…that the problem is not about safety but efficacy. “The problem with this idea is not that there is a great risk of humans getting transgenic DNA…but whether the measure to control mosquitoes actually works…in a sustainable way,” she wrote.

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So rest easy knowing that an out-of-control mutant-mosquito population wasn’t in the running for “worst-case scenario.”

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Oxitec CEO: This is the worst-case scenario for unleashing genetically modified mosquitoes into the wild

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