Questions Persist In Mosquito Gene-Editing Debate
The Guardian: Should we wipe mosquitoes off the face of the Earth?
Archie Bland, writer and commissioning editor for the Saturday Guardian
“…Whatever the priorities, no scientist disputes that if the technology were to be perfected, the gene-drive plan [to alter the genetic code of male Aedes aegypti — the mosquitoes that carry Zika, dengue fever, and chikungunya — so they could only produce sterile offspring] would be a remarkable boon to public health. Yet there may be other, more abstract, objections contained in the eerie idea of that word: extinction, the permanent eradication of a species that has evolved and survived for thousands of years. … In the end, if the technical and ecological objections can be overcome, it seems unlikely that philosophical arguments for the sanctity of Aedes aegypti will hold sway…” (2/10).