So the FDA approved the release of GMO mosquitoes?

http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/NewsEvents/CVMUpdates/ucm490246.htm

I mean… what could go wrong?

From the article.

They haven’t been released yet.

Sunshine and rainbows

I’ll be checkin that out LOL

like to see a mosquito man vs the fly

Oh, well, so long as they get all their paperwork done, I’m sure it’ll be fine.

What do you think will go wrong? And how does that compare with potentially getting rid of a vector for some of the biggest viral killers?

As always, when this topic comes up, see here:

GM Mosquitoes

I have no clue about things like this but surely there are some folks here that have worked and studied this method of virus control.

What are the risk factors if any?

There has to be some risk right?

Thanks

you were actually the person i was hoping would comment, I will read your info again

As for what can go wrong, damn little. Worst that can happen is that it won’t work, and based on field trials already completed, that’s unlikely.

Good read and very interesting stuff. Always amazes me who thinks of this stuff and gets paid to do so. Very cool job indeed.

This may be a dumb question but suppose the virus is gone and the modified mosquitoes have done their job. What happens to them? Do they just die off or will they survive a few generations?

The only thing I know about mosquitoes is the 4 stages of life thanks to trout fishing:D

The mosquito population will be suppressed as long as the releases are continued. If the releases are stopped the population will rebound (hopefully the virus will be eliminated by this point but I wouldn’t bet on it). They may eliminate the mosquito population locally, but it’ll quickly reestablish itself once the releases are stopped.

This is the strength and the weakness of the RIDL strategy- its not self-sustaining. This is a good or bad thing depending on how you feel about GMOs.

The gene drive strategies are self sustaining - theoretically, once released, they spread on their own. These are not near field release yet (at least the ones based on transgenics - Wolbachia releases have been done in many countries at this point, which not technically a GMO strategy, IMO its similar enough).

Just a random thought, but why is the FDA regulating this? Shouldn’t it be the EPA? FDA is food and drugs; mosquitoes are neither.

The FDA’s regulatory mandate includes any article “intended to affect the structure or any function of the body of . . . animals.” They have interpreted this, not uncontroversially, to encompass genetically modifying animals.

Is there any overlap in the “niche” that the mosquitos are in, such that another species will thrive because of this? And if so, can they starve out the original species being targeted, preventing the rebound? Or is the reality that it will balance back out?

The species in question is not native to the Americas. Don’t worry about its ecological niche.

Note that using a similar technique, they eradicated the screwworm fly from the US, Mexico, Central America, and some of the Caribbean. No one squawked a bit about that.