Wednesday, November 25, 2015

GMO's Will Eliminate Malaria

Corporations, because of course they can, take advantage of the amazing new science of genetically modified organisms.  It may not be clear that what they're doing with GMO's will benefit humanity in the long run, because of course there's no necessary connection between the generation of wealth and doing well for the human race.

But that is no reason to forbid any research on GMO's because other people and other groups can and will produce advances with the potential to prevent human tragedy. And one such tragedy are the millions of people, mostly children, who die of malaria.

And this is why I'm opposed to labelling GMO food.  It's not that I think people should not know more about where their food comes from, but an unfortunate side effect of labelling will be a panic, an hysteria, created among people, that will shut down all research on GMO's. And that would be a tragedy far exceeding any occurring from corporate research.  And the failure of GMO research on eliminating malaria would be one such tragedy.  Malaria is an remitting scourge in tropical countries, but it will spread as global warming extends the ecological niche for the mosquitoes that spread malaria.

Scientists are creating a GMO mosquito that fights the malaria parasite by flooding it's body with antibodies.
The other modification is a set of genetic elements known as a gene drive that should propel the malaria-resistance genes throughout a natural mosquito population. When a malaria-resistant male mosquito mates with a wild female, the gene drive copies both itself and the resistance genes over from the male chromosome to its female counterpart.
Because almost all the progeny carry the new genes, instead of just 50 percent as would be expected by Mendel’s laws of genetics, the inserted genes are expected to spread rapidly and take over a wild population in as few as 10 generations, or a single season. A large region, at least in principle, could be freed from malaria, which kills almost 600,000 people a year.
GMO research here prevents the death of 600,000 people a year.  Preventing that research will be a serious human tragedy.