Scientists To Release Altered Mosquitoes To Fight Dengue Fever

This is pretty cool. Scientists are about to release mosquitoes infected with a bacteria that cut cut the incidence of dengue fever in half.

Known as “breakbone fever” because of its pain, dengue fever kills 40,000 people a year and infects over 100 million in tropical nations.

The fruit-fly bacterium called Wolbachia in the altered mosquitoes halves the lifespan of the bugs, which reduces transmission of the fever since it occurs in older bugs. This is the work of Scott O’Neill and his colleagues at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia. This effort is specifically directed at Aedes mosquitoes and the altered bugs will be released in Australia and Vietnam.

Source: News Scientist

38 thoughts on “Scientists To Release Altered Mosquitoes To Fight Dengue Fever”

  1. I don’t think DDT will solve all the worlds problems, that doesn’t even follow from what I said. It might help but it certainly is no panacea for malaria or other insect born diseases.

  2. I would also like to note that DDT resistance was noted in the late 40’s & was shown to be increasing. Like Antibiotics, our over reliance on DDT would have made it useless by now anyway.

  3. I have no sacred oxen. Your ideas are also fair game, especially your fictitious notion that “if we could use DDT this would probably not be necessary,” and the implication that DDT would solve all the world’s problems. It won’t.

  4. Observer:

    not being a libertarian I would say they dont have all the answers either nor do conservatives. I dont think any one group has all the answers but as a culture we seem to put a good deal of stock in liberal progressive ideas. Too much in my opinion.

    So I think the conventional wisdom of the validity of those ideas is fair game. Sorry if I am goring your sacred ox.

  5. The Post has become a conservative rag with the opinion columns of Will, Krauthammer, Gerson, Hiatt, Kathleen Parker and a legion of others. Catch up.

    “Unfortunately, overuse of DDT by agricultural interests, in the early 1960s, bred mosquitoes that are resitant and immune to DDT. DDT simply is not the effective pesticide it once was, and for the WHO project to eradicate malaria, this problem was the death knell. WHO had to fall back to a malaria control position, because pro-DDT groups sprayed far too much of the stuff, in far to many places, mostly outside.” Ibid.

    And the wisdom of libertarians having the solutions to all the world’s problems?

  6. Byron: “Some conventional wisdom needs to be challenged especially the wisdom of liberals having all the answers to current problems.”


    And the conventional wisdom of the right wing being that everything can be solved with state sponsored prayer and inaction?


    just for the record I did not know they were fans of Lyndon LaRouche, I would have never posted that if I had.
    I guess I have a little confirmation bias as well. However I think the National Academy of Sciences is well enough respected.

  8. Let’s just hope that there aren’t any untoward consequences. Can we trust that mutations of this Wolbachia won’t lead to other problems when its host is changed? Not to discredit others that are saving lives and lowering morbidity. Glad to see this article.

  9. Gingerbaker:

    “Last month (January 29, 1996), the National Research Council, the research arm of the National Academy of Sciences, released a report on carcinogens in the human diet. Over thirty years after Silent Spring’s publication, a wealth of scientific evidence suggests that many of the concerns Carson raised were unfounded.”

    Some conventional wisdom needs to be challenged especially the wisdom of liberals having all the answers to current problems.

  10. “if we could use DDT”

    Thats Dumb Dumb Thinking Byron.

    Don’t you know that the answer is people. The more people on the planet the more CO2 gets released in the atmosphere,then the more hotter the planet will become. This is the only way we can avoid more intense hurricanes, more volcanoes erupting, flooding on a grand scale, massive wild fires and F-5 tornadoes with flying tomatoes.

    Back in the day a lottery was held and a human was marched up a hillside and sacrificed to appease the gods. Just think of it being done on a grander scale.

    Healthcare isn’t about healthcare, it’s about doing away with people who have no value left to society. The sooner they are rid of them the less consumers of products there will be. Think about it. Why do you think we’ve reverted to growth hormones in chickens and cows. Look how long it use to take to bring them to market vs. today. So many mouths to feed, so little time.

  11. Byron – that’s quite a reference. 21st century Science and Technology is, at least honest about itself:

    ” 21st Century Science & Technology magazine challenges the assumptions of modern scientific dogma, including quantum mechanics, relativity theory, biological reductionism, and the formalization and separation of mathematics from physics. We demand a science based on constructible (intelligible) representation of concepts, but shun the simple empiricist or sense-certainty methods associated with the Newton-Galileo paradigm.

    Our unique collection of editors and scientific advisers maintain an ongoing intellectual dialogue with leading thinkers in many areas, including biology, physics, space science, oceanography, nuclear energy, and ancient epigraphy. Original studies by the controversial economist Lyndon LaRouche have challenged the epistemological foundations of the von Neumann and Wiener-Shannon information theory, and located physical science as a branch of physical economy. In science policy areas, we have challenged sacred cows, from the theory of global warming to the linear threshold concept of radiation.”

    Fruitcake, anyone?

  12. Yes, that Dengue fever is an insistent little bugger. He-he.

    So, if half as many people will get dengue fever as in the past – if all works well – then will dengue fever drop down the list of tropical diseases deserving research funding? Leading to a loss of research funds and a corresponding loss of institutional memory of the disease among researchers, which should reach its nadir right about the same time the genetically altered mosquitos become diluted to nothingness in wild populations because they have no evolutionary advantage?

    All of which will mean a spike in dengue fever victims in future, but no robust research program funding? I need caffeine.

  13. Q: “How many people in Africa have died because of some numb nut here in America worried about thin shelled bird eggs?”

    A: “What? No, no, you’re right: DDT has never been banned from Africa, not even under the 2001 Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty.”

    A: “DDT has never been out of use in Africa since 1946, nor in Asia. DDT is in use right now by the World Health Organization (WHO) and at least five nations in Africa who have malaria problems. If someone told you DDT is not being used, they erred.”

  14. if we could use DDT this would probably not be necessary. How many people in Africa have died because of some numb nut here in America worried about thin shelled bird eggs? People or birds? That is an easy question, at least for a conservative-people win hands down every time. But it looks like the choice was a false one and Carson was full of shit.

  15. Yes….makes absolute sense….genetically altered bugs and cows eating processed cows did what for us exactly?

Comments are closed.