Scientists Unveil Genetically Modified Insects with ‘Kill Switch’ Genes

Biotechnologists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a ‘kill-switch’ for genetically modified insects. It is meant to assist corporations in controlling genetically modified organisms set free in the wild. But just the same as with all other GM creations, this has yet to be risk-assessed, and is already being heralded as the next ‘terrific scientific development.’

Researchers say that what once was science-fiction is now a reality. Utilizing a gene-editing technology, scientists have developed a way to delete entire strains of DNA instead of just editing them. At first glance, this would seem advantageous. If an insect was let loose in the wild, such as the millions of GM mosquitoes developed by Oxitec to be released in Brazil and Florida which are meant to control dengue fever (you can see a Youtube about the GM mosquitoes near the bottom of this article), humans could simply develop a ‘kill switch’ that would stop the GM mosquitoes from propagating.