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Old 10-13-2018, 12:47 PM
 
Location: Pacific 🌉 N, 🌄W
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I will be concerned when regular people are able to genetically modify things easily, which might occur do to CRISPR technology.
Not sure how a "regular person" will ever gain access to a genetics research lab that's conducting research using the CRISPER gene editing tool? There are a lot of myths surrounding the CRISPER gene editing tool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
However, I do somewhat share your concerns about this...because they're talking about using viruses to influence plant genetics.
We are using viruses in medicine today to target and kill brain cancer cells. In fact this this is the future of cancer therapy. All a virus really is is a piece of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protective coat.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
That seems a lot riskier than just genetic modification.
How so?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
CRISPR technology would use bacteria to alter genetics...but I have the impression that kind of genetic modification would take place in a lab. It sounds like here, they might talking about using insects to spread viruses designed to be skilled at affecting plants.
Here is the Summary of the actual article. You have to have an AAAS member or purchase the article in order to see it's entirety. However I think the summary gives enough insight as to how they plan to use this technology.

Agricultural research, or a new bioweapon system?

It's always best to locate the original source of the information vs. reading online "science" news articles.

Last edited by Matadora; 10-13-2018 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 10-15-2018, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
There are over 3000 species of mosquitoes but only 3 are the primary culprits for spreading human disease:
"Anopheles mosquitoes are the only species known to carry malaria. They also transmit filariasis (also called elephantiasis) and encephalitis. Culex mosquitoes carry encephalitis, filariasis, and the West Nile virus. And Aedes mosquitoes, of which the voracious Asian tiger is a member, carry yellow fever, dengue, and encephalitis."
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/a...up/mosquitoes/

Wiping out those 3 species should have no effect on the remaining species that do not transmit diseases. It would not be an issue for non-hazardous species. The biggest risk of indiscriminately killing non-hazardous species is the use of insecticides. DDT is still used in many places around the world. DDT kills all insects, not just mosquitoes. The solution would be to genetically alter the hazardous mosquitoes to render sterility, and the population is likely to drop, eventually to extinction. If the males are genetically altered and released back into the wild, they will pass it on through breeding to the egg-laying females, which would lay infertile eggs. That would not be hazardous to beneficial species since they'll only breed among their own kin. The trick is to release enough of the males to make it start to work. It would require a lot of mosquitoes to work in order to cover large areas.
Thanks.

I've heard before that are three that carry particularly dangerous diseases...but one or two hundred that bite humans, I believe it was, in a couple articles.
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Old 10-15-2018, 01:38 PM
 
4,981 posts, read 7,758,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Thanks.

I've heard before that are three that carry particularly dangerous diseases...but one or two hundred that bite humans, I believe it was, in a couple articles.
As you know, mosquitoes that bite are doing so to draw blood which is used to nurture eggs. In exchange, they can introduce diseases as they bite. Most mosquitoes apparently feed primarily on nectar and do not bite. The three mentioned are also infected with microbial disease-carrying parasites and microbes. When the microbes enter, they will be carried throughout the bloodstream and lay eggs that will hatch, or like bacteria, just divide and multiply. These are the mosquitoes of greatest concern since the diseases they carry can kill people. A mosquito that simply bites but does not transmit any diseases may be irritating, but isn't going to kill anyone. Although, I suppose if a bite wound itches, and a person scratches at it, scratching could introduce some other infection, but that could potentially happen with any kind of open wound. I've been trying to find information about the 100 or 200 mosquitoes that bite, without success. If you can find that information, it would be appreciated.

As near as I can tell, out of the 3000+ different species of mosquitoes (as previously mentioned), only 3 are dangerous to humans. It's worth noting that each species may be divided into several subspecies which might each prove to be equally hazardous.

Mosquitoes aren't the only insect that can bite. Sand flies can inflict a painful bite, as can blow flies, fleas, and others. They can all carry dangerous bacterial diseases. So there's a few more that can also be added as targets for extinction.

Mosquitoes tend to seek out stagnant water, such as swamps, and water collected in old tires, abandoned water jugs, etc. It could be a tall order to completely exterminate all of them. By genetically altering a species, it could eventually exterminate the species, but that could still take a very long time. The world is a very big place. However, genetic altering might be a better option than indiscriminate spraying which could kill off other non-targeted creatures in the process.
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Old 10-15-2018, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NightBazaar View Post
As you know, mosquitoes that bite are doing so to draw blood which is used to nurture eggs. In exchange, they can introduce diseases as they bite. Most mosquitoes apparently feed primarily on nectar and do not bite. The three mentioned are also infected with microbial disease-carrying parasites and microbes. When the microbes enter, they will be carried throughout the bloodstream and lay eggs that will hatch, or like bacteria, just divide and multiply. These are the mosquitoes of greatest concern since the diseases they carry can kill people. A mosquito that simply bites but does not transmit any diseases may be irritating, but isn't going to kill anyone. Although, I suppose if a bite wound itches, and a person scratches at it, scratching could introduce some other infection, but that could potentially happen with any kind of open wound. I've been trying to find information about the 100 or 200 mosquitoes that bite, without success. If you can find that information, it would be appreciated.

As near as I can tell, out of the 3000+ different species of mosquitoes (as previously mentioned), only 3 are dangerous to humans. It's worth noting that each species may be divided into several subspecies which might each prove to be equally hazardous.

Mosquitoes aren't the only insect that can bite. Sand flies can inflict a painful bite, as can blow flies, fleas, and others. They can all carry dangerous bacterial diseases. So there's a few more that can also be added as targets for extinction.

Mosquitoes tend to seek out stagnant water, such as swamps, and water collected in old tires, abandoned water jugs, etc. It could be a tall order to completely exterminate all of them. By genetically altering a species, it could eventually exterminate the species, but that could still take a very long time. The world is a very big place. However, genetic altering might be a better option than indiscriminate spraying which could kill off other non-targeted creatures in the process.
I've read that in a couple informal sources.

Maybe what they really meant was that only a couple hundred species are known to attack humans, whereas regarding the others, they haven't been researched enough to know whether they do or not.

I originally saw that 200 species of mosquitoes attack humans here:

For starters, mass mosquito extinction would eliminate about 3,500 species, which is the number of distinct mosquito species currently identified on Earth. Of these thousands of mosquito species, about 200 attack humans, and three species -- Anopheles, Culex and Aedes -- pose a particular risk to humans by transmitting diseases like malaria and yellow fever [source: National Geographic].
https://science.howstuffworks.com/sc...nt-extinct.htm

Note that the National Geographic link, in the article I liked to, does not tell that 200 species of mosquitoes attack humans. It only tells that those three aforementioned species post a particular risk.

Who knows what they mean by "attack humans" though. I've looked into this some more, and apparently many species of mosquitoes have organisms they prefer, but will go after other organisms too if they can't find enough of those. Maybe that has something to do with what they mean. I originally assumed 200 species will attack humans. Maybe what they meant was, 200 species will sometimes attack humans, but don't necessarily prefer them, or 200 species strongly prefer humans, or something else.

Somewhere I found another article that said 100 species attack humans. I can't seem to find that again though.

I wouldn't count on that data after all, regarding the 200 mosquitoes.

Perhaps someone has some reliable about which species prefer humans the most that we could use to determine which should be rendered extinct, if we go beyond just those three highly problematic ones.


It does look like not all species of mosquitoes are considered pests of humans:

Mosquitoes are a diverse group of insects belonging to the fly order, Diptera. There are over 2500 species of mosquitoes which can be found on every continent except Antarctica. While North America is home to about 200 species of mosquitoes, in Connecticut there are currently 52 known species which can be found in a variety of habitats. Of this number, approximately one-half are considered pests to humans or livestock and can transmit organisms causing disease. (Identification Guide to the Mosquitoes of Connecticut) https://www.ct.gov/mosquito/cwp/view.asp?q=415040
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Old 10-15-2018, 06:50 PM
 
4,981 posts, read 7,758,835 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I've read that in a couple informal sources.

Maybe what they really meant was that only a couple hundred species are known to attack humans, whereas regarding the others, they haven't been researched enough to know whether they do or not.

I originally saw that 200 species of mosquitoes attack humans here:

For starters, mass mosquito extinction would eliminate about 3,500 species, which is the number of distinct mosquito species currently identified on Earth. Of these thousands of mosquito species, about 200 attack humans, and three species -- Anopheles, Culex and Aedes -- pose a particular risk to humans by transmitting diseases like malaria and yellow fever [source: National Geographic].
https://science.howstuffworks.com/sc...nt-extinct.htm

Note that the National Geographic link, in the article I liked to, does not tell that 200 species of mosquitoes attack humans. It only tells that those three aforementioned species post a particular risk.

Who knows what they mean by "attack humans" though. I've looked into this some more, and apparently many species of mosquitoes have organisms they prefer, but will go after other organisms too if they can't find enough of those. Maybe that has something to do with what they mean. I originally assumed 200 species will attack humans. Maybe what they meant was, 200 species will sometimes attack humans, but don't necessarily prefer them, or 200 species strongly prefer humans, or something else.

Somewhere I found another article that said 100 species attack humans. I can't seem to find that again though.

I wouldn't count on that data after all, regarding the 200 mosquitoes.

Perhaps someone has some reliable about which species prefer humans the most that we could use to determine which should be rendered extinct, if we go beyond just those three highly problematic ones.


It does look like not all species of mosquitoes are considered pests of humans:

Mosquitoes are a diverse group of insects belonging to the fly order, Diptera. There are over 2500 species of mosquitoes which can be found on every continent except Antarctica. While North America is home to about 200 species of mosquitoes, in Connecticut there are currently 52 known species which can be found in a variety of habitats. Of this number, approximately one-half are considered pests to humans or livestock and can transmit organisms causing disease. (Identification Guide to the Mosquitoes of Connecticut) https://www.ct.gov/mosquito/cwp/view.asp?q=415040
Thanks for the links.

In the management guide you listed, the suggestion (in Connecticut) is that 26 species are pests to humans and livestock and can transmit organisms causing diseases. Hmm. Are they suggesting that 26 species are pests that can transmit disease, or that some (not necessarily species) of the 26 can transmit disease. I wonder if they meant 26 types out of 3 species that can transmit disease? It's not very clear.

I certainly agree that some blood sucking mosquitoes will certainly go after other animals. Interestingly, according to website, "ANIMALOGIC", they list six types of blood sucking mosquitoes that can carry dreadful diseases. Noting the types, the list shows the 3 mentioned species, with 2 types of each species. Some suggest there are around 2,500 species, while others suggest 3,400 species, and still another suggests as many as 4,000 or so species. Whatever the number is, it's a lot.
https://animalogic.ca/blog/blood-suc...ts-not-too-bad

I think it's fair to say there are a good number of blood suckers, but as far as I can determine, they belong to the 3 species, but not all of the the types are carriers of disease. That would be my guess.

I also think it's fair to say that if all species of mosquitoes were to go extinct, that could potentially be a problem. And by spraying, pesticides are not going to be selective of which species will be wiped out. However, as mentioned, by genetically modifying certain species, it would target only those species, leaving all the others unharmed. Fish, bats and lizards will be able to happily continue dining on mosquitoes. I doubt such extinction would have any effect on the ecology.
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Old 10-15-2018, 07:08 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matadora View Post
Not sure how a "regular person" will ever gain access to a genetics research lab that's conducting research using the CRISPER gene editing tool? There are a lot of myths surrounding the CRISPER gene editing tool.
1. I'm assuming that depends on how you define "regular person." That term can have a pretty broad meaning. I don't know the kind of person who would be able to easily construct their own CRISPR lab in their basement...but if any lone person with a budget of, say $100,000 or less and sufficient education can construct a CRISPR lab in their basement and modify genes, any time in the next forty years, I'd still categorize that as something a "regular person" can do.

2. I mentioned I'd be concerned if that could happen. Note that I didn't think that would necessarily be a reason not to develop CRISPR technology. We just might have to be more watchful regarding who gets access to certain resources or something.

This is from the U.S. intelligence community world threat assessment of 2016:

Genome Editing
Research in genome editing conducted by countries with different regulatory or ethical standards than
those of Western countries probably increases the risk of the creation of potentially harmful biological
agents or products. Given the broad distribution, low cost, and accelerated pace of development of this
dual-use technology, its deliberate or unintentional misuse might lead to far-reaching economic and
national security implications. Advances in genome editing in 2015 have compelled groups of high-profile
US and European biologists to question unregulated editing of the human germline (cells that are relevant
for reproduction), which might create inheritable genetic changes. Nevertheless, researchers will
probably continue to encounter challenges to achieve the desired outcome of their genome modifications,
in part because of the technical limitations that are inherent in available genome editing systems.

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/..._SFR_FINAL.pdf

And this is just another article:

Harvard geneticist George Church, whose lab is doing some of the premier research on CRISPR, says: “You could conceivably set up a CRISPR lab for $US2000.”
https://www.businessinsider.com.au/h...mbryos-2015-4/


I'm not saying everybody will be using CRISPR tech. to give their dogs glowing fur or anything. I'm just expressing concern about dedicated terrorist groups and brilliant crackpots having easier access to genetic modification.

Quote:
We are using viruses in medicine today to target and kill brain cancer cells. In fact this this is the future of cancer therapy. All a virus really is is a piece of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protective coat.
How so?
I don't know much about the safety of using viruses to alter genetics. I assume it's a fairly safe procedure, now that you said it's used to target and kill brain cancer cells. My concern was almost entirely rooted around the prospect of spreading viruses through the use of insects to infect plants all over the country, to alter those plants, or releasing viruses into the wild that altered plants intentionally. My concern was primarily that there'd be no way to "pull the plug" if there was some discovered flaw or problem.

I'm not sure whether the fields your link discussed was contained within a confined area or not...but if they're considering doing that outside of a confined area at some point, that seems quite risky to me. I am under the impression that viruses that spread and infect frequently mutate, more often than larger organisms that procreate through sex and contain DNA too. Your article leaves me with the impression someone is considering spreading a virus into the wild to modify food crops. Perhaps they're just experimenting in an enclosed area for now, or not, but it sounds like someone's considering releasing food-crop modifying viruses into the wild at some point.

If, on the other hand, you merely genetically modify mosquitoes through this method: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...on/1418740002/

With genetically modified mosquitioes, Even if something does go wrong, it's not the whole nation's crops that would be directly affected. It would merely be mosquitoes. It would have less potential for a direct negative affect on humans, so far as I can see.

With the altering of food crops via viruses, they'd be making a decision for the whole country, and possibly world, and if that goes bad, we have a major problem.

I don't know if different mosquito species can interbreed or not. Even if they can though, and something goes wrong and the lessening of mosquito populations affects the food chain in a more negative way than we assume, or some other unexpected negative like that, occurs, I see no reason why that disaster would likely spread to mosquito populations everywhere. Mosquito species are different species because they either can't interbreed, or don't often interbreed, so I would think the species the genetic engineers desired to go extinct would probably just go extinct before they could spread their genetics very far throughout other mosquito populations.

Quote:
Here is the Summary of the actual article. You have to have an AAAS member or purchase the article in order to see it's entirety. However I think the summary gives enough insight as to how they plan to use this technology.

Agricultural research, or a new bioweapon system?

It's always best to locate the original source of the information vs. reading online "science" news articles.
Yeah...but I don't always like to spend time on stuff Thanks.

I guess my question is...why is this not disturbing...if it isn't? Your link actually disturbed me more than the original article. I already know the government's not intentionally making a disease to release to lower human population or anything like that. My question is...they're not saying they're strongly considering releasing something into the wild that could easily spread to modify some of our food crops, whether we want them to or not, right?

Even if they're just experimenting with how that might be done...I find myself thinking: they seemingly better be pretty careful about this stuff spreading. I highly doubt it would kill us or turn us into mutants or anything...but even a worldwide reduction in the Vitamin C or oranges is going to really, really tick off a WHOLE lot of people. I don't want my carrots to end up tasting like potatoes or something in another decade.

Maybe they could use bees and just make sure they don't breed any new queens, and only use viruses that are so fragile they can't survive for long outside a bee or plant host or something? I don't know. They might have some way of doing things like that to keep the virus from spreading or something.

Last edited by Clintone; 10-15-2018 at 07:52 PM..
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