Malaria Free Mosquitoes

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Malaria free mosquitoes are the norm, according to an article in Science, vol. 312, p514, 28 April 2006. In order for mosquitoes to spread malaria, the disease causing micro-organisms have to infect the mosquito first. A few years ago some mosquitoes were found which could prevent the malaria causing cells from doing this, and some scientists suggested that genetic engineering techniques should be used to spread the resistance genes among the mosquito population. In order to find out which genes enable mosquitoes to resist infection, a group of scientists captured mosquitoes from a malaria infested region and let them produce one generation of offspring. They allowed the offspring to feed on malaria infected blood and then examined them to see which ones were infected with malaria parasites. Many of them were not infected in spite of feeding from infected blood. The scientists then looked for genes conferred resistance and found a small region on the 2L chromosome. One gene named APL1 appeared to be particularly important, because when it was deliberately knocked out the mosquitoes became infected. The scientists were surprised that the genes for resistance to the parasites are "remarkably common" and "the mosquitoes that don’t have those genes may just be the odd ones out".

This study has led other scientists to suggest that control of malaria should concentrate on finding ways to kill the non-resistant mosquitoes. Matt Thomas of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Organization in Australia commented: "Why put new resistance genes into mosquitoes if they already have their own."

Editorial Comment: The results of this study, and the scientists’ conclusions, are exactly what you would predict from a Biblical Creation framework of thinking. In the beginning God made a good world with no disease, where all animals ate plants. Therefore, all mosquitoes fed on plant juices, and kept any micro-organisms they happened to absorb under control. Therefore, there would be no malaria. 

As the world degenerated some mosquitoes lost their ability to keep micro-organisms under control, and became infected with single celled organisms. After Noah’s flood, plants degenerated due to the harsh climate, and female mosquitoes were unable to get enough iron and protein from plants to make their eggs, so they took to drinking blood when they were ready to lay eggs. At all other times mosquitoes still live on plant juices and nectar, and males continue to be exclusively vegetarian. Those mosquitoes that had the damaged genes would have accidentally transferred micro-organisms into the blood of the person they were feeding from and started the vicious cycle of infection and transmission of malaria.  

The moral of the story is don’t do an Attenborough by asking "If there is a God of Love why did He invent malaria?" when it is our sinful rebellion that is to blame. (Ref. degeneration, infection, disease)

Evidence News 31 May 2006

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