GMO Insects: Will These Hi-Tech Solutions To Creating Ecological Balance Become a Boon or Bane?

The plan of letting loose GMO insects in Florida is a disaster waiting to happen. If we recall what happened during the course of  American history when new species of plants and animals where brought in the country to improve its ecological balance, they always end up in a disaster. .

Harvard Medical School scientists said that these genetically modified insects won’t survive in the wild because they were created that way.  They call it synthetic firewall which sounds sophisticated in paper but will it work?

“I don’t want to be alarmist or anything, but I think the point is that these organisms do spread,” said George Church, a lead researcher and Harvard Medical School genetics professor.

“It’s a scenario. You want to get ahead of these things, rather than wait until you have a problem,” he said.

This means, according to Church, that creating GMOs can help in perform essential   tasks without fear that they will become the source of disasters later. They will disappear without a trace. I hope they’ll die rather than hiding somewhere and come back to hound us later.

One of this ecological experiments before happened in Hawaii where sugarcane planters imported mongoose to kill rats. Instead the animals killed thousands of birds putting many of them in the danger of extinction.

The introduction of Asian Tiger mosquitoes in the U.S. is another example of transplanting animals from one place to another. The disastrous effect that followed was highly unforeseen. They breed everywhere and spread to many places. They attacked hosts like no other in the world including birds, mammals and reptiles. They became carrier of diseases from one animals to another of different species, man included.

There were many more stories about cases like these which cause untold difficulties in the part of the inhabitants of the places where these transplants stayed not to mention the enormous amount of money spent to reverse the condition that were highly unsuccessful.

The plans are really impressive such as the ability of the GMOs to clean oil spill to prevent ecological disasters. But what if these GMOs will themselves become the cause of it.

One specific example that Church and his colleagues from Harvard and Yale universities used areE.coli bugs that are resistant to viruses  E. coli bugs that but will only survive when feed some kinds of synthetic amino acids. They are officially called “genetically recoded organisms,”

There’s a lot of difference between lab experiments where the conditions is under control and the wild where mutations can occur. Remember the flu virus?

Church at Harvard and Farren Isaacs of Yale has given assurance that their GMOs are under control and there’s going to be no propagation in the wild whatsoever.

Maybe more studies are required. This is such a scary thing. If the plan misfires, the negative  implications are too massive to imagine.

 

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