Thursday, 24 July 2014 00:00
It can be difficult to function in the summertime. Oppressively humid air hangs heavy, transforming Long Island into Wet Island. Add disease-carrying winged creatures to the mix and we’ve got a reason to pray for a winter chill.
The horror...the horror.
Last month, elected officials pleaded with the federal government for help in fighting a particularly nasty breed of blood suckers — the Asian tiger mosquito. Among its talents, the Asian tiger mosquito is known to carry dengue fever. While this breed of mosquito has been found on Long Island, none were found to be carrying the dengue virus, which is far more prevalent in year-round tropical climates.
Still, with the common mosquito causing enough problems on the island and more than 200 million people worldwide infected by malaria each year, it might be time destroy these useless parasites once and for all.
To that end, London scientists have tested a genetic method that distorts the sex ratio of mosquitoes so that the females that bite and pass the disease to humans are no longer produced. In this male-dominated mosquito world, these pests could effectively be wiped out.
We’ve destroyed plenty of species, perhaps it’s time we annihilate one that actually deserves it.