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Thread: GM mosquitoes etc. to gene drive disease vector pest species to extinction

  1. #1 GM mosquitoes etc. to gene drive disease vector pest species to extinction 
    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Humans wiped out mosquitoes (in one small lab test)
    If we could eliminate a species, should we?
    Science News. BY SUSAN MILIUS, 8:26AM, DECEMBER 17, 2018

    "For the first time, humans have built a set of pushy, destructive genes that infiltrated small populations of mosquitoes and drove them to extinction.

    But before dancing sleeveless in the streets, let’s be clear. This extermination occurred in a lab in mosquito populations with less of the crazy genetic diversity that an extinction scheme would face in the wild. The new gene drive, constructed to speed the spread of a damaging genetic tweak to virtually all offspring, is a long way from practical use. Yet this test and other news from 2018 feed one of humankind’s most persistent dreams: wiping mosquitoes off the face of the Earth."


    My opinion is YES we certainly should eliminate the species which is the main malaria-spreading mosquito, Anopheles gambiae and we should extinct that species without delay.

    It will be disappointing if this new method can't extinct the species as we hope but no-one should dare to fault those who rush to find out if it will work.

    Eradicating a disease-spreading pest species like mosquitoes would be a wonderful show of love for those all those people who are catching, suffering from and dying from those diseases. The sad facts are -

    Mosquito-borne diseases or mosquito-borne illnesses are diseases caused by bacteria, viruses or parasites transmitted by mosquitoes. They can transmit disease without being affected themselves. Nearly 700 million people get a mosquito-borne illness each year resulting in over one million deaths.

    Diseases transmitted by mosquitoes include: malaria, dengue, West Nile virus, chikungunya, yellow fever, filariasis, tularemia, dirofilariasis, Japanese encephalitis, Saint Louis encephalitis, Western equine encephalitis, Eastern equine encephalitis, Venezuelan equine encephalitis, Ross River fever, Barmah Forest fever, La Crosse encephalitis, and Zika fever. as well as newly detected Keystone virus.

    That's a lot of human suffering and of course it would be a show of love for people to eradicate the mosquito species which are causing all that suffering. It's the humane and caring thing to do, if science can now do that.

    There's no obligation for us to sacrifice our blood and our health (and the blood and health of other wild, pet and farm animals who also get bitten and catch diseases from mosquitoes) - sacrifice all that just to go on supporting the mosquito food chain. That's a food chain that civilisation and the animal world would be well rid of.

    There are no scientific worries because there are other insect prey species for insect predators to feed on. Mosquitoes also sip nectar so when they stop doing that it will leave more nectar to be sipped by species - like bees - which depend wholly on nectar and never suck blood. Mosquitoes being wiped out will lead to some other species flourishing as they move in to occupy the ecological niche left by the extinction of mosquitoes. So there are always going to be loads of larvae and flying insects for the higher animals to feed off of.

    Scientists know that extinctions happen in nature routinely.
    Extinction
    As long as species have been evolving, species have been going extinct. It is estimated that over 99.9% of all species that ever lived are extinct. The average lifespan of a species is 1–10 million years, although this varies widely between taxa.

    Almost all of those extinctions happened before the evolution of humans, before there were any civilisations or any scientists to make any predictions.

    Predicting things isn't required for nature to manage extinctions no problem. Nature has no problem with not going back.

    What we can certainly predict is that this year and every year until we eradicate mosquitoes they will spread a lot of disease and a lot of people will die as a consequence.

    Poorer parts of the world suffer a lot more from vector-borne diseases. As you can see from this map, Africa is really getting hammered.





    So now there is something we can do that's really going to help. I know that there are a lot of people who do care, who can show that love when it is needed.
    There comes a time
    When we heed a certain call
    When the world must come together as one
    There are people dying
    Oh, and it's time to lend a hand to life
    The greatest gift of all
    We can't go on
    Pretending day-by-day
    That someone, somewhere soon make a change
    We're all a part of God's great big family
    And the truth, you know, love is all we need
    We are the world
    We are the children
    We are the ones who make a brighter day, so let's start giving
    There's a choice we're making
    We're saving our own lives
    It's true we'll make a better day, just you and me






    I trust that the World Health Organisation and their international and national partners will soon be planning to apply this supremely efficient pest control method against every blood-sucking parasite which is a disease vector with the intention to extinct them all!

    Genetic engineering and medical science has served humanity with as momentous a breakthrough as was as the discovery and use of vaccines and antibiotics.

    Congratulations and all the rewards on Earth and all the blessings in Heaven to those who have contributed.


    Let's roll!


    Last edited by Peter Dow; December 26th, 2018 at 11:10 AM.
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    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    For all their annoyance, and disease vector capacity, mosquitoes are likely a vital food pyramid link in world ecology. Think of them as air-plankton, probably.


    I was some of the mud that got to sit up and look around.
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    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    For all their annoyance, and disease vector capacity, mosquitoes are likely a vital food pyramid link in world ecology. Think of them as air-plankton, probably.
    What part of -
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
    There's no obligation for us to sacrifice our blood and our health (and the blood and health of other wild, pet and farm animals who also get bitten and catch diseases from mosquitoes) - sacrifice all that just to go on supporting the mosquito food chain. That's a food chain that civilisation and the animal world would be well rid of.

    There are no scientific worries because there are other insect prey species for insect predators to feed on. Mosquitoes also sip nectar so when they stop doing that it will leave more nectar to be sipped by species - like bees - which depend wholly on nectar and never suck blood. Mosquitoes being wiped out will lead to some other species flourishing as they move in to occupy the ecological niche left by the extinction of mosquitoes. So there are always going to be loads of larvae and flying insects for the higher animals to feed off of.
    - didn't you read or understand?

    Sea plankton don't suck the blood of other sea creatures so your comparison is inept.
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    I agree with GE, they're a part of the ecosystem and have their place in the world.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
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    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    I agree with GE, they're a part of the ecosystem and have their place in the world.
    And so did 99.9% of all species which have ever lived and have now gone extinct.
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    Samurai of Logic Falconer360's Avatar
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    My point being that you cannot guarantee that wiping them out will not create an unwanted chain reaction that drastically alters the ecosystem for the worse. While there may very well be other prey species for their predators to feed on, the complete disappearance of the mosquito will undoubtedly be felt by it's many predators and have an adverse affect on them. Now I'm not saying that I'm against controlling their population in populated areas, but it would be highly irresponsible to intentionally make them go extinct. The world does not exist for the sole benefit of humanity.
    "For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson

    "It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down"
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    "Only a warrior chooses pacifism; others are condemned to it."
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  8. #7  
    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    My point being that you cannot guarantee that wiping them out will not create an unwanted chain reaction that drastically alters the ecosystem for the worse.
    Oh yes you can. There are thousands of mosquito species and each genetically engineered gene drive will only work on one species. So the plan will be to wipe each species out, one at a time, targeting first those species which are causing the most disease.

    If at any point there is a sign of your mythical "unwanted chain reaction" beginning (which I very sincerely doubt) then we can pause and reconsider how to proceed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    While there may very well be other prey species for their predators to feed on, the complete disappearance of the mosquito will undoubtedly be felt by it's many predators and have an adverse affect on them.
    Excuse me but I do sincerely doubt that most predators will notice any effect whatsoever. Other species will leap in to occupy the vacated ecological niche and those will be predated upon. The species which will notice and benefit will be those who are no longer getting bitten by mosquitoes.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    Now I'm not saying that I'm against controlling their population in populated areas,
    What's more to the point from an ethical point of view is for you to say whether or not you have a workable, cost-effective plan to eradicate mosquito populations in all populated areas of the world - including the poorest villages of the world which now suffer terribly from malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases?

    Because if you have no such alternative plan ready then I suggest that you should reconsider the questionable ethics of picking fault with the gene drive extinction plan. If you do think you already have a better plan - what a nice surprise that will be - and so please do post a link to your recommended plan.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    but it would be highly irresponsible to intentionally make them go extinct.
    On the contrary, it is raising science's responsibility to our fellow humans to the highest priority.

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconer360 View Post
    The world does not exist for the sole benefit of humanity.
    Agreed. That is science's reason for existing - for the sole benefit of humanity, including the acquisition of knowledge where the benefits may not be immediately apparent.

    The world is simply the battlefield where scientists must battle for the benefit of humanity against those who would obstruct or pervert science so as to do humanity harm.
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    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    Yeah, I read that part. It appears to be an assertion without any backup data. Also, there’s been a failure to consider the aquatic nymph stage of mosquito larvae upon which many different fish species feed. So yeah, air and fresh water plankton.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post

    If at any point there is a sign of your mythical "unwanted chain reaction" beginning
    Then it will be too late.

    Like saying: We will remove snow a few tons at a time. Then, if there is a sign of an avalanche, we will stop and reconsider.
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  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Yeah, I read that part. It appears to be an assertion without any backup data.
    Well if it is "backup data" that you love, check this link out.

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    Also, there’s been a failure to consider the aquatic nymph stage of mosquito larvae upon which many different fish species feed. So yeah, air and fresh water plankton.
    From that ICL News story -
    "The team also looked at mosquito larval habitats. The female mosquitoes tend to lay their eggs in small, temporary ponds and puddles away from predators. When laid in larger ponds, any predators that feed on them also eat many other things preferentially."
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  12. #11  
    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post

    If at any point there is a sign of your mythical "unwanted chain reaction" beginning
    Then it will be too late.
    Ah. I see. So with 3000 mosquito species everything could be perfect. But then after one more gene drive and there are only 2999 species, the sky may fall down.
    You are not being very scientific, are you, Chicken Little?

    Quote Originally Posted by DaveC426913 View Post
    Like saying: We will remove snow a few tons at a time. Then, if there is a sign of an avalanche, we will stop and reconsider.
    With the tiny difference that we have all observed an avalanche whereas an ecological disaster following the elimination of one mosquito species among thousands is unknown to science.

    So what you are suggesting is more akin to a rumour of a mythical avalanche of snow which is said to follow the routine clearing of snow from roads and runways and that the fear of such an avalanche being so calamitous is such that a panic-stricken government outlaws all use of roads and runways which get snow until such time as the snow melts with the coming of spring.
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    Your Mama! GiantEvil's Avatar
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    A news story is neither a peer reviewed study nor an actual paper. “Science” news stories, while often based on a peer reviewed source, are often cherry picked and almost never accurate.
    I will agree that, amongst other things, mosquitos are annoying.
    I’m bored now, see y’all later.
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    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    A news story is neither a peer reviewed study nor an actual paper. “Science” news stories, while often based on a peer reviewed source, are often cherry picked and almost never accurate.
    That news story reports on the publication of a peer reviewed study, an actual paper, at this link.
    Effects of removal or reduced density of the malaria mosquito,Anopheles gambiae s.l., on interacting predators and competitors in local ecosystems’ by Collins, C.M., Bonds, J.A.S., Quinlan, M.M. & Mumford, J.D. is published in Medical and Veterinary Entomology.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/...1111/mve.12327

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    I will agree that, amongst other things, mosquitos are annoying.
    Mosquitoes also don't follow links to news stories which report on peer-reviewed science papers either. That's not a good enough reason to extinct something, you will be pleased to read.

    Quote Originally Posted by GiantEvil View Post
    I’m bored now, see y’all later.
    Sure, we'll invite you and the whole world to the party after we eradicate malaria.
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Removing the A. gambiae species group (the paper is explicit in it not just being the senso strict species) will NOT erradicate malaria. As has already been noted.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    Removing the A. gambiae species group (the paper is explicit in it not just being the senso strict species) will NOT erradicate malaria. As has already been noted.
    I've already noted my intention to gene drive to extinction all disease vector mosquito species and I don't intend to stop at mosquitoes.
    One species must be the first, but not the last, to suffer extinction by gene drive. The genetic engineering to render Anopheles gambiae extinct may already have been completed at Imperial College London but field trials will be necessary to find that out.

    There's more to eradicating malaria than making vector species extinct of course but that goes without saying.
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    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    So you have CHANGED your position to eradication of all biting insects, but your refuse to acknowledge the massive ecosystem upset and destruction that would cause.

    The much simpler solution would be to eradicate the pathogen not the myriad vectors.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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    Forum Sophomore Peter Dow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    So you have CHANGED your position to eradication of all biting insects,
    My thread title -

    "GM mosquitoes etc. to gene drive disease vector pest species to extinction"

    - identifies this thread's focus here and now of eradicating those biting insects which are disease vectors.

    I would simply note in passing that the same gene drive method which appears to be capable of eradicating disease vector pest species could possibly be considered for deployment to eradicate other biting insects - such as the Highland midge. That's a bridge to cross if and when we come to it but is of passing interest at this stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    but your refuse to acknowledge the massive ecosystem upset and destruction that would cause.
    I'd happily acknowledge that nature has comfortably managed the extinction of 99.9% of species which have ever lived and that an ecosystem is characterised by the species which inhabit it so changing species means a changing ecosystem, sure.

    Change is natural. It's not necessarily "upset and destruction". The change to the ecosystem caused by the widespread adoption of agriculture or farming was of great benefit to mankind, supporting vastly greater populations compared to the age of hunter-gatherers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    The much simpler solution would be to eradicate the pathogen not the myriad vectors.
    I believe that the successful malaria eradication programs - for example, in your own country, the USA - have employed insecticides and other methods to control mosquitoes as the primary vector of malaria spread.

    If you know of a "much simpler solution", that can work everywhere in the world, then good luck with that. Feel free to post a link.
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    Forum Freshman Robbedoes's Avatar
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    I'm wondering what effect other animals have due to the gene drive.

    “[i]t will still be at least 5-10 years before we consider testing any mosquitoes with gene drive in the wild.” First, his team will need to test the gene drive in larger containers, where the mosquitoes can act more naturally, Crisanti tells Wired—swarming to find a mate, for instance. Such details were difficult to mimic in the 20 cubic centimeter cages used in this study.https://www.the-scientist.com/news-o...squitoes-64849
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  20. #19  
    Time Lord Paleoichneum's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Dow View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Paleoichneum View Post
    but your refuse to acknowledge the massive ecosystem upset and destruction that would cause.
    I'd happily acknowledge that nature has comfortably managed the extinction of 99.9% of species which have ever lived and that an ecosystem is characterised by the species which inhabit it so changing species means a changing ecosystem, sure.

    Change is natural. It's not necessarily "upset and destruction". The change to the ecosystem caused by the widespread adoption of agriculture or farming was of great benefit to mankind, supporting vastly greater populations compared to the age of hunter-gatherers.
    Please read up on extinction events better. Nature is NEVER happy about major extinctions and there are often cascading effects of the events. You love to quote the 99% number with out any of the attached data about what happened during most of those events.
    If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world. -Thorin Oakenshield

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