2 years ago5,000+ Views
Scientist Discovered a Way to Get Rid of Malaria, But it's Pretty Scary
Malaria is a life-threatening disease caused by parasites that are transmitted by mosquito bites. About 3.2 billion people – almost half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria, according to the World Health Organization.

So yeah, it's a pretty scary disease that scientists have been working finding a cure, or a way to fix it.

And it looks like they've found a way to prevent it.


Oh, you know. Just by creating hundreds of genetically modified mosquitoes that are incapable of spreading the malaria parasite, and sending them out into the wild to force the anti-malarial genes into swarms of wild mosquitoes.

Good Stuff

Malaria kills over 400,000 people a year. That's a lot of lives that we could be saving if we release these helpful mosquitos into the wild.
They have been test for several years in labs, and this scientific technique has been used before with crops and other wild plants. So it's worked before.

Scary Stuff

A warning published in August in the prestigious journal Science, by teams in the UK, US, Australia and Japan, said the accidental release of modified organisms “could have unpredictable ecological consequences.”
The warning was that essentially something in a science lab can seem promising, but without understanding the experiment in a larger scale, we have no idea how this will effect the world.
So, help save thousands of people or release crazy strong mosquitos that take over the world? (I'm being a bit melodramatic, but you get the point)

So what do you think, shall we set the mosquitos free?

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They're genetically-modified to have an anti-malaria gene, not mosquitoes mixed with gorilla genes or something. I have a hard time imagining any ecological disasters because we're not driving the mosquitoes to extinction and we're not changing their genetic makeup so drastically that it is unrecognizable. It's a sounds like a single DNA sequence. The only repercussions I can think of is malaria mutating to become resistant to the gene or becoming a completely new and dangerous disease, but that is probably highly unlikely.
2 years ago·Reply
this sounds all amazing and great but what happens when we've cured all the diseases? now I will admit, I'm not very smart in the aspect of deeper understanding of this topic but fro. my point of view, our planet has a max limit of what it can sustain, as to what that limit is, I don't really know, however, I do know that the human population is increasing and increasing and without certain diseases like malaria, than what will balance out the population rate? I'm not trying to say, screw humans I hope we all die, but I am trying to say that maybe we shouldn't be focusing our attention on things like curing disease rather spend it on something else of greater or equal importance, like the ecosystem or something like that.
2 years ago·Reply
@DanielRivera You're absolutely right about the planet having a maximum limit of what it can sustain. And we're approaching it very fast (I believe estimations for the Middle East and Africa running out of drinking water is 2050). However, if you were from a third-world or developing country threatened with cholera, malaria, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, etc. (diseases we hardly have to worry about in the developed world/have medication for to improve quality of life with those diseases), then I'm sure you wouldn't appreciate someone (I'm not saying you, this is a generalization) saying something along the lines of "Sorry, there are too many people in the world, so we're just going to leave it to nature to kill you horribly. You don't deserve quality of life since you weren't born in a developed country." I had a further response planned (and a good two paragraphs typed already) but I'm sure it would have been a 10-page dissertation (topics included ending disease research, birth control on a global level, mass extinction of the human race, etc.), so I'm going to stop here lol.
2 years ago·Reply
what I imagine could go wrong is because it is genetic make up is being changed, it has a possiblity of becoming aggressive or more likely to swarm or become smarting in its endevors which would make its genes more likely to survive, but my point being that when you are changing the make up of an animal you could be changing more then just a resistance and like you said @kmccord95 can also cause more deadly strains of the virus, haha I play plague too much and my friend is amazing at the game xD
2 years ago·Reply
fair enough @kmccord95. I'm sure I absolutely would think differently if I lived in a third world country.
2 years ago·Reply