Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ted Talk | Article Assignment No. 4

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Hadyn Parry: Re-engineering mosquitos
 to fight disease

Rating *****

With all the arising dangers involved in going outdoors, one less danger is definitely a good thing.  Hadyn Parry discusses one of the most dangerous killers alive – the mosquito.  Hadyn informs us that scientists have figured out a way to make mosquitos kill themselves. 

The mosquito that transmits deadly diseases such as dengue fever and malaria is Aedes aegypti.  Hadyn describes this mosquito as an invasive species and a very dangerous one at that.  He also states that mosquitos in general have killed more people than any war, any natural disaster or any other disease.  These diseases cause severe pain as well as flu-like symptoms and dengue fever is said to make you feel like your bones are breaking and is often referred to as “break-bone fever”.   In a single year, there are 200-300 million cases of malaria and 50-100 million cases of dengue fever worldwide.  The reason these numbers have sky-rocketed is due to the Aedes aegypti.  Hadyn also states that it is only female mosquitos bite their victims and male mosquitos are solely for reproduction, they do not bite.  The solution that is suggested by him is to genetically alter the male Aedes aegypti to make them sterile and therefore unable to breed.  Hayden speaks of “mosquito factories” producing sterile male Aedes aegypti mosquitos in mass amounts.  A massive three million mosquitos can be transported in a container the size of a coffee cup and can be distributed accordingly throughout affected areas to greatly decrease or even decimate the population of the Aedes aegypti. 

I really enjoyed this article because it was very interesting and really caught my attention as it was overall brilliant.  I also find the concept very important because of the rate that the Aedes aegypti is spreading and an epidemic of disease-carrying mosquitos is very dangerous. To have this solution is very impressive!

I highly recommend that you read this article because it is thought provoking and it is one of those things you definitely will not regret reading!

Parry, Hadyn. “Re-engineering mosquitos to fight disease.
Ted Talk. November 2012 – London, England.



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