What is the most deadly animal to humans? It’s the humble, pesky mosquito. And I HATE mosquitoes. They are a huge nuisance. I happen to deeply allergic. But mosquitoes might be the most be the most deadly in the world responsible for upwards of 725,000 human deaths per year . Bill Gates has declared war on the mosquito largely because of the diseases and parasites they carry which result in Malaria, Dengue, yellow fever, encephalitis, West Nile, and now Zika.
In this case, we’re most commonly talking about a couple species causing most of the trouble: the invasive Aedis aegypti and Aedes albopictus. So what if we could wipe them all out? This is a raging scientific discussion. No one is ready to take it on as stated, but there is a question about the ecological importance of mosquitoes.
I called up Anthony James, Distinguished Professor of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry at UC Irvine. We talked about various control technologies, including genetic engineering techniques, to eliminate these pests.