kkleiner writes: Two months ago, in a remote province of Eastern Malaysia, genetically engineered mosquitoes were released into the wild in a two week experiment aiming to see if wild mosquitoes that infect humans with Dengue Fever might eventually be suppressed or eradicated. The 6000 mutant mosquitoes were the biotechnological brainchildren of Luke Alphey, chief scientific officer of the British biotech company, Oxitec. He has pioneered a technique to inject a suicide gene into a wild insect population in a single generation, causing the pest population to dramatically decline in a bug-ocalypse of dead pupae. The politics by which the ecology of the planet might be re-engineered to cause less disease might be even more important for understanding the shape of the future than the tech.
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