Will hordes of genetically altered mice help curb Lyme disease?

By David Abel

Updated April 21, 2022

NANTUCKET — As spring emerged on this island of manicured estates and idyllic beaches, a group of scientists from the Boston area arrived on a recent afternoon with an extraordinary request for local officials: Let us release hordes of genetically altered mice into the wild. Hundreds of thousands of them, potentially.

The engineered rodents would look exactly like the native white-footed mice.  But each of their cells would carry genetic code, specially tailored in an MIT lab, for resistance to the bacteria that causes Lyme disease. White-footed mice are a key reservoir for the harmful bacteria.  (See link for article)



  • Founder of the “Mice Against Ticks” project, Kevin Esvelt (Assoc. Prof. at MIT), admits technology can make the world worse.
  • The proposal supposedly will require significant vetting, and support for the project remains uncertain due to concerns about GMOs.
  • They plan on inserting specific Lyme-resistance genes within the mice that have developed immunity to the disease, rather than more risky specifically designed genetic code. The hope is that this immunity would be passed to descendants – eventually replacing all mice susceptible to the pathogen.
  • They plan to conduct field trials on several small largely uninhabited private islands in the region before releasing the mice into the wild.
  • They also plan to bring in independent ecologists to monitor the experiments.

Concerns of unintended consequences included:

  • Would this cause a surge in other invasive species?
  • Would the mice and rodent population grow significantly or exhibit new traits like becoming more aggressive?
  • Would there be harmful ramifications for species that consume the GMO mice?
  • Would this experiment be regulated effectively?
  • What could be done to halt negative consequences once the genie is out of the bottle?

I disagree with the following two beliefs presented as facts in the article:

  1. That the worst thing we can do is nothing.  In fact, a lot worse can happen as has been shown historically many times. After a few attempts to establish the Asian beetle as a biological control agent for aphids, we now have swarms of them AND the aphid problem and this is simple Simon met a pie man compared to the unknown results of genetically modifying mice and insects & releasing them into the wild.
  2. Climate change, is causing tick and disease proliferation. A recent report by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) states that empirical evidence shows that there is “no evidence of a climate crisis.”  The climate issue has become a religion and a useful political tool for the current global power grab.  It has also been proven to be null and void regarding tick and Lyme disease proliferation.  The climate changes.  Always has and always will.  It does not; however, cause all the destruction many claim. There is clear evidence that man-made climate engineering to control the weather is destroying life and the planet.  They are spraying nanoparticles into the atmosphere and then using microwave transmissions such as 5G to weaponize the weather.  Many are oblivious to the fact that climate engineering is the crown jewel of the military industrial complex.

The article mentioned that the only other similar experiment was when GMO mosquitoes were released in the Florida Keys to reduce the spread of dengue, Zika, and chikungunya.  The FDA also approved a field trial in California.  What was omitted was the potential future devastation with the ongoing experiment. This article not only explains the issue, but shows residents explaining the troubling fact there is no independent oversight to this experiment.  Important quote:

Poorly done, secretive science and lack of transparency is once again being rewarded with a free pass by government officials who are ignoring the voices of concerned scientists and those most impacted.” said Dana Perls, Emerging Technology Program Manager at Friends of the Earth. “First in Brazil, and now in Florida, government agencies have missed the mark and promoted the interests of a private corporation over public health and ecosystem protection.”

And if you want to be creeped out even more:

  • Financially backed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Oxitec has been experimenting with GMO mosquitoes for years.
  • One of the biggest threats is that the GMO mosquitoes will breed and create hybrid wild mosquitoes that end up worsening the spread of mosquito-borne diseases. These GMO mosquitoes may also end up becoming more resistant to insecticides than wild mosquitoes.
  • There is further evidence to suggest that biting females will be released, despite objections from Oxitec that this will not happen. These biting females would put humans at risk of attack and infection, without their informed consent.
  • The timing of this could not be more questionable.  If adverse reactions occur, lines will be blurred on yet another confounding factor in relation to COVID-19 and disease. ‘Authorities’ will only be too happy to blame any and all negative outcomes on COVID and NOT on released GMO mosquitoes.  They already are denying any negative outcomes from the COVID shot which have caused more destruction than another other vaccine in the history of VAERS.
  • Another point to stress is that the CRISPR gene-editing technology (tinkering with genes) has been shown to create unintended mutations: This article shows 100 deletions and insertions and more than 1,500 unintended single-nucleotide mutations occurred.  
  • The New York Times recently reported that a 57 year old man died after receiving a GMO pig heart and became infected with a pig virus that may have contributed to his death.
  • This article states CRISPR has the potential to cause cancer in a whole generation of humans.
  • Noam Prywes, PhD candidate in chemistry at Harvard, claims that CRISPR/Cas-9-based gene drives will:

    “add a twist – introducing one gene drive after another to correct unforeseen consequences as they are discovered,” and that “decisions by researchers would become permanently written into the genomes of entire wild populations.” He also adds that there are alternative ways to wipe out local populations of mosquitoes carrying disease that are much safer.

    In this same vein, David Burwitz of Tel Aviv University, feels that gene drive research should be classified to prevent weapon development, and he’s not alone. In theory, a terrorist could create a handful of insects with a gene for making a toxin, and power it with a gene drive. Pretty soon, all of these insects would make the toxin, and every insect bite would be lethal. However, according to Austin Burt, who proposed the theoretical method for making gene drives, the gene drives only work in sexually reproducing species, unlike the vast majority of genetically engineered microbes which produce asexually and they’ve only been shown to work for one generation – so far.

Let’s suffice it to say that nobody has a clue of the outcome of such an experiment.  And once the cat is out of the bag, it is unlikely it can be put back.

I remember hearing Esvelt years ago at a conference.  I thought he was a mad scientist then and I still think he’s a mad scientists.  No thank you.

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