U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 10-05-2018, 07:21 AM
 
Location: Macon, Georgia
461 posts, read 181,813 times
Reputation: 282

Advertisements

I agree.
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/201...iowarfare.html
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 10-08-2018, 08:27 AM
 
Location: Maryland
798 posts, read 234,862 times
Reputation: 1836
Just about anything can be used as a weapon if that’s someone’s intent. This technology is coming whether we want it or not because we need to be able to defend against those who unfortunately will want to use it for evil.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-08-2018, 10:36 AM
 
37,069 posts, read 38,262,371 times
Reputation: 14830
I understand the quest for knowledge but things like this should raise eyebrows no matter who is doing it. How many times have they introduced a species into an ecosystem only to produce an even greater problem? The deeper we go into this unknown knowledge through experimentation the more likely we are going to run into something where the consequences could be enormous.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-08-2018, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
I understand the quest for knowledge but things like this should raise eyebrows no matter who is doing it. How many times have they introduced a species into an ecosystem only to produce an even greater problem? The deeper we go into this unknown knowledge through experimentation the more likely we are going to run into something where the consequences could be enormous.
I have no problem with the idea of genetically modifying mosquitoes that carry malaria to go extinct whatsoever, which is another thing people are thinking about doing. In fact, I vote that we give the Nobel Peace prize to the first person that begins to do that.

I don't think genetic modification is the problem. I have no real problem with GMO's either, and see more pros than cons from them. That's just inevitable. I will be concerned when regular people are able to genetically modify things easily, which might occur do to CRISPR technology.

However, I do somewhat share your concerns about this...because they're talking about using viruses to influence plant genetics.

That seems a lot riskier than just genetic modification. Genetically modified mosquitoes aren't evolved to invade and modify the genes of other species. That's exactly what viruses do though, and they can easily mutate.

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.

I guess it could be used in case of some kind of emergency...but there's no way they'd ever get people to agree to the usage of insects to spread a designed, plant-affecting virus...hopefully...unless there's some kind of massive food shortage or something.

Last edited by Clintone; 10-08-2018 at 12:33 PM..
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-08-2018, 12:38 PM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
Just about anything can be used as a weapon if thatís someoneís intent. This technology is coming whether we want it or not because we need to be able to defend against those who unfortunately will want to use it for evil.
Yeah...that's the thing. I would never want this sort of thing to intentionally be used, so far as I can see, by which I mean using viruses carried by insects to modify plant genes on a wide scale, but it might help defend against biological weapons of others or something, if it's learned about....

Maybe that's what they're really doing, whereas the article makes it sound like they're considering releasing insects carrying plant gene modifying viruses. I'd think those would be far too difficult to control.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-08-2018, 04:58 PM
 
37,069 posts, read 38,262,371 times
Reputation: 14830
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I have no problem with the idea of genetically modifying mosquitoes that carry malaria to go extinct whatsoever,

As long as you can keep the "healthy" mosquitoes that is a fine idea but my point is who can guarantee that? Understand what I'm saying? There is a laundry list of well intentioned things such as introducing a species into an ecosystem to fix one problem only to create a larger one down the road. My concern is if this isn't the next step down that path.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-09-2018, 07:37 AM
 
Location: Maryland
798 posts, read 234,862 times
Reputation: 1836
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
As long as you can keep the "healthy" mosquitoes that is a fine idea but my point is who can guarantee that? Understand what I'm saying? There is a laundry list of well intentioned things such as introducing a species into an ecosystem to fix one problem only to create a larger one down the road. My concern is if this isn't the next step down that path.
This is really the biggest problem. Using viruses as transport for genetic material is an established and common technique. The bigger problem is that we think we know all of the consequences of our actions when mucking around with the genomes of our fellow critters.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2018, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
3,923 posts, read 2,725,939 times
Reputation: 1829
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
As long as you can keep the "healthy" mosquitoes that is a fine idea but my point is who can guarantee that? Understand what I'm saying? There is a laundry list of well intentioned things such as introducing a species into an ecosystem to fix one problem only to create a larger one down the road. My concern is if this isn't the next step down that path.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LesLucid View Post
This is really the biggest problem. Using viruses as transport for genetic material is an established and common technique. The bigger problem is that we think we know all of the consequences of our actions when mucking around with the genomes of our fellow critters.
I want to emphasize though, regarding the trying to make certain species of mosquitoes extinct, I haven't heard anything about them trying to do that through viruses...at least not through releasing viruses into the wild, which would be considerably more risky than just using viruses to alter the DNA of an organism in a lab or something.

I look at it like it'd be very useful for humanity to get rid of mosquitoes that harm us for the same reason it's important to get rid of diseases that harm us. These are our last predators of humanity. Antibiotics are becoming less useful over time through bacteria adapting to them. Researchers are in a perpetual race to invent new treatments. It could seriously help them catch up by just getting rid of mosquitoes that bite humans.

The method I've been hearing about using with mosquitoes is the following:

Researchers at London's Imperial College used “gene drive” technology to spread a genetic modification that blocks female reproduction while letting male mosquitoes continue to spread those altered genes.

The results, published Monday in the journal Nature Biotechnology, represent the first time gene drive has completely suppressed a population, according to an article from Imperial College.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...on/1418740002/

Note that female mosquitoes are the ones that bite humans. The only consequence I might be able to think of that might make the cons of that worse than the pros would be if those lab-altered mosquitoes could mate with, and therefore alter mosquitoes that don't bite humans. However, I'm under the impression that organisms can't interbreed if they're different species. I could be wrong about that in some instances.

The team crashed populations of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, which transmits malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, within 11 generations. There are around 3,500 species of mosquito worldwide, of which 40 can carry malaria, the article reported.

In 2016, according to the World Health Organization, there were around 216 million malaria cases and an estimated 445,000 deaths worldwide, mostly of children under five years old.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...on/1418740002/

Even if there are only a few hundred thousand mosquito-caused deaths now, we don't know what future diseases they might carry. One of my major concerns about possible ways for humanity to go extinct would be some kind of pandemic, and getting rid of mosquitoes that bite humans could reduce that risk.

I've read somewhere or other that only a couple hundred species bite humans.

I kind of look at it like...what risks would be so harmful they'd outweigh avoiding a possible future pandemic? If extinction of mosquitoes causes a major food shortage for fish humans eat, or plants don't receive enough polinators, that might be an issue, but I'm not sure what percentage of mosquitoes bite humans though. If it's not a large percentage that do, that doesn't seem like their extinction would be a problem.

But yeah, I don't like the idea of releasing a virus into the wild specifically designed to affect plants humans eat. Our plants already are edible. That's a nice minimum to keep. With genetic engineering of plants, if it doesn't work you can just try again. With released viruses, if it doesn't work you've just potentially altered our food source. You've overcome barriers mother nature has built up to prevent that through human ingenuity. When doing that sort of thing, particularly when it involves human food sources, you better be quite careful, and you can't really be careful when releasing viruses.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-11-2018, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Maryland
798 posts, read 234,862 times
Reputation: 1836
We are so inundated with virus and bacteria that we have no idea what’s entering our bodies. The danger is that, in our haste to treat one specific thing, we fail to take into account the thousands of other things that might interact with tailored genes. It’s impossible to really predict.

Some interesting numbers.

“**In each cubic meter of air, there are between 1.6 million and 40 million viruses.

**In each cubic meter of air, there are between 860,000 and 11 million bacteria.

Given that we breathe roughly .01 cubic meters of air each minute, a simple calculation based on these results suggests we breathe in a few hundred thousand viruses every minute.”

The Infected Air (NSFH [Not Safe For Hypochondriacs]) - The Loom : The Loom

And for ocean water....

“There are approximately 10 million viruses in every drop of surface seawater...”

https://www.futurity.org/millions-of...-ebb-and-flow/

We inhabit an absolute soup of biological material.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 10-12-2018, 08:51 PM
 
4,980 posts, read 7,758,835 times
Reputation: 2859
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
Even if there are only a few hundred thousand mosquito-caused deaths now, we don't know what future diseases they might carry. One of my major concerns about possible ways for humanity to go extinct would be some kind of pandemic, and getting rid of mosquitoes that bite humans could reduce that risk.

I've read somewhere or other that only a couple hundred species bite humans.

I kind of look at it like...what risks would be so harmful they'd outweigh avoiding a possible future pandemic? If extinction of mosquitoes causes a major food shortage for fish humans eat, or plants don't receive enough polinators, that might be an issue, but I'm not sure what percentage of mosquitoes bite humans though. If it's not a large percentage that do, that doesn't seem like their extinction would be a problem.
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.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Science and Technology
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top