What If There Were No More Mosquitoes?
Experiment wipes out 80% of “one of the world’s most dangerous pests” in a bid to save millions of lives from disease-carrying mosquitoes.
DEETS ON NO MORE DEET
- Who: Researchers infected “Aedes aegypti” male mosquitoes with bacteria making them sterile.
- Where: Released 3M in Australia.
- What: Sterile male mosquitoes didn’t bite or spread disease, and when they mated with wild females, eggs didn’t hatch – effectively wiping out population.
- Why: The mosquitoes spread diseases like dengue fever & zika.
Why it Matters
- Majority of mosquitoes don’t spread diseases, BUT 3 most deadly (found globally) are responsible for 17% of infectious disease transmissions.
- Researchers say this experiment offers a potential new solution.
- In May, the CDC warned the US is “not fully prepared” for these widespread & difficult to control diseases.
Why do we need mosquitoes anyway? And what’s the downside to wiping out a population? Read on here.
- Sterile mosquito experiment could save millions of lives:
https://www.news.com.au/technology/science/animals/sterile-mosquito-experiment-could-save-millions-of-lives/news-story/84aaf0e9fcf27f60c83f7108c3716ff7It”s an exotic mosquito, we want to get rid of it. It”s not an important part of the environment and it”s a major spreader of diseases around the world, CSIRO”s Paul De Barro told AAP.
- Illnesses from Misquito, Tick & Flea increasing in the US:
- What if Every Mosquito on Earth Went Extinct Tomorrow?: (FROM 2014)
Public health entomologist Grayson Brown of the University of Kentucky: If mosquitoes went extinct: Mosquito larvae are very important in aquatic ecology. Many other insects and small fish feed on them and the loss of that food source would cause their numbers to decline as well. Anything that feeds on them, such as game fish, raptorial birds, etc. would in turn suffer too. Mosquitoes can be wiped out but the ecological damage that would be necessary (draining swamps/wetlands, applying pesticides over wide areas), along with strict regulatory enforcement, would make eradication not worth it unless there was a very serious public health emergency.
by Jenna Lee,