Oxitec, a bio-tech company, is genetically modifying a type of Mosquito called Aedes aegypti, a very dangerous mosquito responsible for yellow fever and dengue.I think this is an interesting tidbit that MIGHT warrant a mention in the book. Could Quinella be a budding environmentalist? A contrarian? A protector of the lowly mosquito? Or could she belong to the school of unintended consequences? (Be careful of what you wish for.)
Instead of using pesticides, researchers are genetically altering males in the lab so that when they are released into the wild, they will mate with females, the males being sterile and/or any resulting offspring dying before they can mature.
The point is, I think topical items might have a place in this novel, but, in the end, the characters will have to drive the story, not the current news.
Still thinking this over...