Maybe BiG would care to comment?

Why releasing sterile mozzies might not work.

10 thoughts on “Maybe BiG would care to comment?”

  1. Sterile insect technique has been done in combination with a sex-selection technique that results in a very low proportion of females in the release. It should work because male mosquitoes don’t bite, and females only mate once.

    Unfortunately, when it came to field trials, “scientists are releasing male flies sterilised by irradiating them to control the mosquito population” got translated in the local population’s minds to “scientists are releasing radioactive flies to sterilise males to control the human population”. That was, last I heard, the end of it “in the wild”.

  2. In a Darwinian scenario having a population that can’t breed is doomed to failure.

    Perhaps they should breed a mozzie that can breed fine but just likes normal mozzies or a bunch of long lived mozzies that kills everything it screws and make it screw boys and girl mozzies.

  3. The idea is the released and wild populations interact, the released population takes the wild population down with it. A wild/released cross is sterile (whether because the male is infertile or the offspring are sterile is irrelevant). This should work given the females only get one shot at reproduction.

    But it looks like you need overwhelming force from the released population to have any impact, and mosquitoes breed so quickly and live over such huge areas you may never be able to eradicate the problem.

  4. Isn’t the only way to make this fly (sorry!) to have the female offspring of the crossbreed infertile, but the male offspring fertile (but producing more infertile female descendants).

    Otherwise you have to keep introducing vast numbers of GM males to achieve anything other than a temporary blip in population numbers?

  5. The progressive way to do this is to create a GM mozzie with a dominant vegan gene whose offspring all inherit the gene, refuse to nibble people and eventually die out without progeny. Voilà!

  6. “Read the o as a u.”

    Strangely, so did I. And thought “that’s a bit off-piste for Tim?”. Then I clicked the link..

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