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Genetically modified mosquitoes arrive in Florida

Discussion in 'General Debates' started by stvdv, May 9, 2021.

  1. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    Genetically modified mosquitoes arrive in Florida

    Interesting project. Genetically modified mosquitoes (12.000) will be released in Florida to fight other mosquitoes (which cause diseases), within 16 weeks there will emerge 20 million mosquitoes. The male genetically modified mosquitoes will cause female offspring that will die.

    The modified mosquitoes carry a fluorescent marker, which makes them glow, so you can see it.

    They first tested it in third world countries, this will be the first time in the USA. Some Americans do worry it seems, but scientists are sure that the mosquitoes pose no risk

     
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  2. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    It's also should be noted it's to kill of mosquitoes that carry some nasty diseases, and this program has shown superb results in other places.
    In other words, it's science preventing disease and death, improving the lives of those who will condemn it.
     
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  3. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Then they are hubristic idiots.

    Given the gaps in our knowledge of genetics, ecosystems and the long term consequences of attempts to manipulate and control these in such ways, we simply can't quantify the risks.

    We do have plenty of examples of human attempts to introduce top-down changes to fauna that have had serious negative consequences though.

    The same company:

    Genetically modified mosquitoes breed in Brazil
    After a field experiment between 2013 and 2015, genetically modified mosquitoes are breeding in Brazil. According to the researchers' original plan, all released mosquitoes and their offspring should have died.

    Genetically modified mosquitoes breed in Brazil | DW | 13.09.2019

    Alternatively it is a private corporation taking risks it doesn't fully understand with our ecosystem, and that it may not be able to reverse should its untested and disputed predictions prove to be false.
     
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  4. stvdv

    stvdv Veteran Member

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    True

    Scientists have no clue on many subjects.
    They just try to control the damage they already created by all their new inventions polluting the world, creating havoc

    Very true. My Master warned us already long time ago

    When one takes a balanced diet, food is properly digested and the body is kept healthy. The body's temperature has to be kept at a certain norm. If the temperature goes above or below that norm it is a sign of illness. Similarly, if the five elements that constitute the natural environment are kept in balance, the world is in a healthy state. If this balance is upset or if the elements are polluted, then countries suffer in various ways. If products of science and technology result in upsetting the balance of Nature and pollute the atmosphere or the rivers and the seas, many harmful consequences follow. Pollution gives rise to many new diseases. Today even pure air has become a rare commodity. Three-fourths of the earth is covered by water. There are many minerals in the ocean bed. But in extracting them, some limits should be observed. Otherwise, even the ocean, which has been adhering to its bounds, will exceed its limits.

    - Divine Discourse, Jun 16, 1983
     
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  5. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Humankind has learned & advanced because of "hubristic idiots"
    who couldn't anticipate the consequences of their actions.
    We should return to the safety of prehistoric hunter gatherer
    existence, praying to our volcano gods for some rain, eh.

    I'm not worried about...
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Not all risks are equal obviously.

    Releasing something you don't really understand, into an ecosystem you don't fully understand, that lose the ability to control/recall and have no way of understanding long term consequences of is a risk that should have a far higher threshold of precaution than releasing a new type of medicine for example.

    Neither am I. Are you certain they won't cause any significant long term harm to the ecosystem though?

    People weren't worried about cane toads in Australia either, that's because humans aren't very good at predicting the consequences of their actions regarding things they don't really understand all that well.
     
  7. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    There is no fully understanding any new technology.
    But I agree about unequal risk. Mosquitoes engineered
    to produce dying offspring seems low risk.
     
  8. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    So how can the scientists deduce there is no risk?

    So did introducing 'harmless' toads to kill a destructive crop pest.

    That's also what they said last time, yet A Yale research time found that they had indeed reproduced.

    So, why should we assume they will be right this time?
     
  9. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Didn't killer bees emerge from their idea and actions of breeding honey bees from Brazil to honey bees in Africa to increase honey production?
     
  10. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    I don't think it's possible to be certain.
    I agree that all new technologies have risks.
    All we have is our best, albeit imperfect, judgment.
    The alternative is to do nothing new & different.
    So we progress, accepting the risk.
     
  11. We Never Know

    We Never Know Well-Known Member

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    Like bringing Asian carp to the U.S. to control algae, weed, and parasite growth in aquatic farms, weeds in canal systems, and as one form of sewage treatment.


    Asian carp cause serious damage to the native fish populations in the lakes and rivers that they infest because they out-compete other fish for food and space. Carp are also thought to lower water quality, which can kill off sensitive organisms like native freshwater mussels. Asian carp have been known to dominate entire streams, effectively pushing out the native species.


    Asian Carp Overview - Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (U.S. National Park Service).
     
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  12. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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  13. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    So we can't quantify the level of risk, but should just assume everything will work out for the best?

    This goes back to the idea that not all risks are the same.

    Treating controllable, limited risks as being the same as uncontrollable risks that have potential non-linear effects via dynamic feedback loops in domains we have very limited understanding of is a terrible approach.

    Almost all human technological progress is via taking controllable, limited risks.

    It is easy enough to test a new medicine on individuals because the worst that happens is they die. Releasing a new virus into the general human population would be a risk of a completely different kind.

    All risks of the controllable and limited kind that I'm in favour of taking.

    None are a good reason to take risks of the uncontrollable kind though.
     
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  14. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Yes, but it's only a fish. Imagine thinking a fish can cause harm. You watch too many movies. Oh no, the fish will get me, it's so big a powerful! :spoutingwhale:

    Just let the 'smart' people do whatever they want. They've never been wrong in the past in situations like these.

    You just hate science and progress :D
     
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  15. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    No.
    I assume some good & some bad.
    But on the whole, results are generally positive.
    This mosquito project seems one of the lower risk variety.
     
  16. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    Only assuming they can't reproduce. Other studies done by people with less of a vested interest showed that they could reproduce.

    Would you judge it as "low risk" if they were able to reproduce?
     
  17. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest I have the kavorka
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    Weird...
    I had a response typed out.
    Pinky hit some wrong key.
    Poof!!!!
    Post gone.

    Yet if I abandon a post I don't want posted,
    the damn thing remains there forever.
    Staff do this to me cuz they hate me.
     
  18. Augustus

    Augustus the Unreasonable

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    This is probably the best example of a naive attempt to tinker with the ecosystem. We still haven't learned though...


    Four Pests campaign - Wikipedia

    The Four Pests campaign (Chinese: ; pinyin: Chú Sì Hài), was one of the first actions taken in the Great Leap Forward in China from 1958 to 1962... which resulted in severe ecological imbalance, being one of the causes of the Great Chinese Famine.

    By April 1960, Chinese leaders changed their opinion due to the influence of ornithologist Tso-hsin Cheng[2] who pointed out that sparrows ate a large number of insects, as well as grains.[7][8] Rather than being increased, rice yields after the campaign were substantially decreased.[8][9]...

    By this time, however, it was too late. With no sparrows to eat them, locust populations ballooned, swarming the country and compounding the ecological problems already caused by the Great Leap Forward, including widespread deforestation and misuse of poisons and pesticides.[9] Ecological imbalance is credited with exacerbating the Great Chinese Famine, in which 15–45 million people died of starvation.[10][11] The Chinese government eventually resorted to importing 250,000 sparrows from the Soviet Union to replenish their population.[12]
     
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  19. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Except that's not the case because the aren't doing this bases on no data or prior tests. In other places where they've been the population of mosquitoes caring dengue fever and zika have dropped by over 90%.
     
  20. Shadow Wolf

    Shadow Wolf Rival's Wife

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    Why are people so certain they are running in the dark and have no idea what will happen when this isn't the first time these mosquitoes have been used?
    When they were first released, that's when they didn't know, amd the fist batch had a genetic modification that killed all offspring. That one didn't work. Then they targeted specifically female offspring as they are the ones who bite.
    There are results of this project. Fear of science treading into new grounds, the old "playing god" fears is what I see.
     
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