You may not know it, but human beings have been genetically engineering crops and animals since prehistoric times. What originally started as selection for beneficial characteristics – such as a higher yield for crops, or individuals which were smaller and less pointy (and therefore easier to manage) in the case of animals,- has now reached delicate and global proportions. Whilst this was originally applied to species upon which we still rely for food and secondary products such as milk, wool and honey, the same species manipulation now also encompasses breeding programmes for endangered species which would have long died out without the efforts of people to selectively breed them to boost a wild population, such as the peregrine falcon, several species of seahorses and orang utans.
Recently there was a newspaper story about scientists releasing modified mosquitos into the wild, so as to curb and eventually bring down the numbers of these insects, in a bid to control the spread of mosquito bourne infectious diseases.
So, what are your thoughts? Should an individual be responsible for making this kind of decision to try and postitively enhance our environment? Do you think that decisions such as this should be included in political debates and be put to a public vote? Is too much environmental control a bad thing? If you had the ability and chance to change another species primarily to benefit mankind, would you, and what would you choose? If you are for some species manipulations but not others, where do you define the line?