Malaysia Secretly Release Six Thousand Heads of Transgenic Mosquitoes

Shocking news comes from the report of the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, turned out secretly release as many as six thousand heads of transgenic mosquitoes, which developed to fight dengue fever on 21 December. Same with the release of mosquitoes that have been genetically modified in the Caribbean and Cayman in 2009 and 2010, the release of mosquitoes are surprising many people and sparked pro-cons.

In Malaysia, the mosquito which is made by Oxitec, a British company that is the biology of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes - mosquitoes carrying dengue virus causes dengue fever - a sterilized male. When a female Aedes mosquito mating with male-sterile males, they do not have offspring. The hope, the mosquito population will drop.

Malaysia Secretly Release Six Thousand Heads of Transgenic Mosquitoes

Research carried out in a remote area in large splotch, Pahang, this time the trial was designed to determine the extent to which mosquitoes are able to survive and explore the environment.

"As many as six thousand male Aedes mosquitoes released to be tested for immunity to the environment and examined to what extent he is able to circulate," says Luke Alphey, Chief Scientific Officer Oxitec, as quoted from Sciencemag, January 31, 2011. "The study itself was over on 5 January after insecticide spraying to kill mosquitoes that are still alive."

By some circles, the release of mosquitoes was assessed in a hurry and too secret. However, it was denied by Oxitec. "This research was conducted by government and implemented in Malaysia. So, it's up to governments whether to announce it or not, "says Alphey. "Anyone who is aware that there are 50 to 100 million cases of dengue hemorrhagic fever per year worldwide will certainly feel how important this research."

The same study conducted in Grand Cayman last year alone a much larger scale. There, as many as three million male mosquitoes released to see if they can help reduce the mosquito population. Apparently, in his report then, mosquito populations could be reduced by 80 percent. "The results that we did this time has been submitted to the journal of science," says Alphey.



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