Download Genetically Modified Mosquitos | V9 Podcast S1 E1 Mp3
Duration: 7.35 MB
Published: 04 May 2022
5/3/22 (this is a school project) (please give me a 100 Mr. Hwang)
Hello people, my name is Mahdi Huda, and this is my podcast of unbelievable scientific creations. Here I am with Mr. Hamzah and Mr. Sakib. Professional students of Biology. Today we will talk about genetically modified mosquitoes.
How were mosquitoes modified?
The self-limiting gene is mass-produced in the laboratory and the fluorescent marker gene is produced from a jellyfish, which are then edited into the DNA using CRISPR. The CRISPR is a restriction enzyme which cuts DNA into gene-sized pieces, then edits the genomes and alters the DNA sequence. After the DNA was edited, the recombinant DNA is inserted into the mosquito eggs. Before getting into details, we have to first know what genetic modification is. So genetic modification is where genes of other organisms are inserted into the genetic codes of the organism you are modifying, such as mosquitos in this podcast. There are many ways to insert the DNA such as a gene gun. However, the recombinant DNA got inserted by plasmids, which are circular DNA naturally found in bacteria.
So, after the mosquitos were modified, what did it do?
GM Mosquitoes helped resolve many diseases in different regions of the world, especially Africa. It helped control mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue fever, and the Zika infection. Most of these diseases come from a certain type of mosquito called anopheles aegypti. According to the World Health Organization in 2014, Malaria killed over 400,000 people per year, mostly children in Africa, and it also caused 20,000 people to die annually from the dengue virus. However, after the field trials of Oxitec’s modified mosquitoes, the population of anopheles aegypti reduced by 80-95%. As a result, lowering the cases of dengue fever by 91%. This modified organism saved thousands of lives by reducing the number of mosquitoes and cases.
Wow, that is quite amazing. Is it possible to tell apart genetically modified mosquitoes from normal mosquitoes?
Yes, thanks to this certain gene segment in the DNA called the fluorescent marker gene. It produces a protein that glows red when exposed to light of a certain wavelength. Which helps scientists know which mosquitoes are modified and have the self-limited gene.
This modified organism seems like the future of the world, possibly influencing more modified organisms like this. But, are there any disadvantages? If so, what factors are in play?
You are correct that this could be the future norm of this world. The modified mosquitoes have many benefits like reducing the prevalence of mosquito-borne diseases by controlling the mosquito population. It also could reduce the quality of the diseases by making mosquitoes become resistant or incapable of transmitting them. Lastly, the main benefit of this, is that it could potentially save many lives from getting these deadly diseases. See, all of these advantages are all environmental factors. But to answer your question, it does have disadvantages. One disadvantage is that it could disrupt the food web by drastically reducing or eliminating the local population of certain mosquitoes that predators feed on. This disadvantage is an environmental factor. Another disadvantage is that the GM mosquitoes could help eliminate a certain disease, but increase the quality of other diseases. Making them stronger. Another environmental factor. Lastly, it is a kind of both environmental and social factor. Sometimes genetic modification may not work as intended and could cause future consequences. This could affect the environment and also could cause groups of people to be involved in order to keep the people safe.
So Mr. Hamzah and Mr. Sakib, what sides are you both on? The pros or the cons?
I’m in the middle because there are more disadvantages that could play a role. The disruption in the food chain could result in possible changes in global warming, and the verge of extinction in certain species in the future, However, the modified mosquitoes did resolve many issues and reduced a ton of cases in Africa. It has its ups and downs. Furthermore, if the GM Mosquitoes do increase the quality of most mosquito-borne diseases, then there is basically no point of its creation.
It’s different for me because I believe that GM Mosquitoes are the future, and with the help of other organisms, we could find cures for unsolved diseases. I mean in Africa, the cases of the fever were reduced by over 90%. Although I understand the concerns, after the normal mosquitoes are incapable of transmitting the diseases, the GM mosquitoes can be halted.
Thank you, Mr. Hamzah and Mr. Sakib, the topic about genetically modified mosquitoes was quite interesting. Well, this is Mahdi’s V9 Car Engine Podcast, Vroom Vroom away everyone.