At least mosquito generations are fast which will make studying the likely mutations a bit easier, provided they can keep the study contained and actually run it for long enough and watch for possible unexpected side effects. Scary thing is there are so many variables involved in genetics that it's hard to keep track of everything, especially when you start releasing them outside the lab.
And the fact that mosquitoes are a disease vector do make them a target but it is a bit scary to go messing with them genetically because if some altered larva do manage to survive to adulthood because of some mutation, what trouble might they cause when they start biting other animals. Sounds like a set up for a scary Science fiction thriller. Sigh. (keeping in mind that genetic alterations are often carried out by genetically altered viruses and we know that these creatures can pass on viruses.)
Personally I don't have a problem with genetic modification in general. My concern comes in when one or more of three things comes into play. 1) There has been insufficient testing resulting in a lack of understanding of possible side affects and/or affects on surrounding communities 2) With regard to food, it isn't labeled as GM - I want to have the option to chose. 3) The technology is owned by a mega-corporation that uses it to create a monopoly in a way that endangers our food security - i.e. Monsanto and Round-Up Ready corn, soy and wheat.
I'm not opposed to these mosquitoes per se - on the surface they sound like a possibly elegant solution to a huge health problem. My concern is what TC and Kobus have already alluded to - that it has been insufficiently tested and that the possible issues with it are not well enough understood to justify the risks of it's release into the wild.
I'm certainly am not against controlling mosquitos. We jokingly call them the state bird of FL..
TC made a great point, she wrote....... Scary thing is there are so many variables involved in genetics that it's hard to keep track of everything, especially when you start releasing them outside the lab.
What effects will there be on swallows, bats and dragonflies that feed on mosquito's ?
How about the larva.... they are consumed by guppies, mosquito fish and various water fowl.... ?
And the food chain, just keeps on going...