Malaysia to fight dengue fever with mutant insects

Does anyone remember Mimic, the 1997 sci-fi horror film starring Mira Sorvino? No? Really? Wow.

Well, let me explain it briefly. A disease is spreading rapidly through the children of New York City, killing indiscriminately. A doctor (Sorvino) discovers that cockroaches are spreading the disease. Her solution is to engineer a new breed of insect that will supposedly wipe out the disease vector. It works…dun dun dunnnn….wait for it…TOO WELL! And through a series of events you need not concern yourself with, she and a few other unlucky props are trapped deep in the subways of New York surrounded by carnivorous jumbo cockroaches.

Genetically modified mosquitoes to fight dengue fever in Malaysia.

I guess not enough people saw this dire warning because the Malaysian government is about to try the same thing. In order to combat dengue fever in the region, a government-run medical research facility has engineered 6,000 mutant mosquitoes for release into the wild. If all goes according to plan, the mutant breed will successfully mingle (if they’re lucky *nudge*) with the regular Aedes aegypti mosquito population to produce a new, shorter-lived breed that hopefully won’t be as effective as a disease carrier.

Of course, because nothing conceived by a ruling government has ever gone according to plan, we should soon be seeing plagues of giant mosquitoes attacking cities and sucking pedestrians dry like juice boxes. Yes, there’s a small chance that the plan could work and usher in a new era in the science of safe and useful environmental manipulation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be ready to hide and smear your body with insect guts to mask your scent.