Naked Science Forum

Life Sciences => The Environment => Topic started by: Peter Dow on 21/12/2018 14:42:23

Title: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Peter Dow on 21/12/2018 14:42:23
Humans wiped out mosquitoes (in one small lab test) (http://'https://www.sciencenews.org/article/mosquito-extermination-top-science-stories-2018-yir')
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, letís 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 humankindís 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.

(https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/89/Flag_of_WHO.svg/1200px-Flag_of_WHO.svg.png)

I trust that the World Health Organisation and national equivalents such as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the UK's NHS, DfID and F&CO 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.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: jimbobghost on 21/12/2018 18:27:30
Peter,

speaking as a representative of the bat membership of this forum:

if mosquitos are eliminated, what shall we eat...cake?
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: evan_au on 21/12/2018 21:55:16
Genetic control mechanisms can be made species specific, and there are plenty of insects and even mosquitoes that don't harm humans.

The mosquito Aedes Aegypti carries some nasty diseases, is attracted to humans, and has spread around the world from its Egyptian/African origins. It is an invasive species (following another invasive species, humans...)

I see few problems with wiping it out around the world - and even in its native habitat. Other mosquito species would expand to fill the ecological niche. But it needs a lot of debate before it is done!

A less severe form of control would be to genetically manipulate the mosquito so that it doesn't carry the pathogens. This would not exert an evolutionary pressure on the mosquito.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aedes_aegypti
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Bored chemist on 21/12/2018 22:59:58
I can't help thinking I'd take this more seriously if the title used the right word.
It's as if he's written "can we dead the thing we don't like".
We may well be able to extinguish mosquitoes. But I'd much rather take out the malarial parasite.
Otherwise all we do is put massive evolutionary pressure on the parasite to find a new vector.
People will still die of malaria spread by some other insect.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: evan_au on 21/12/2018 23:42:04
Gene drive developer Kevin Esvelt has asked for a wide-ranging debate on the topic of gene drives before it is deployed in the wild. He has some ideas on how you could produce a new gene drive that would reverse a rogue gene drive, but it would be better not to let it go rogue in the first place!

Naturally, the military is interested/concerned about this topic. But like all biological weapons, it is almost impossible to control once it is released, so I think that all rational military organisations would agree to ban it as a weapon. Unfortunately, there are some non-rational para-military organisations out there that might ignore any international conventions.

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_drive
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Peter Dow on 22/12/2018 00:38:30
Peter,

speaking as a representative of the bat membership of this forum:

if mosquitos are eliminated, what shall we eat...cake?
Moths and beetles.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Peter Dow on 22/12/2018 00:45:57
I can't help thinking I'd take this more seriously if the title used the right word.
It's as if he's written "can we dead the thing we don't like".
The verb "to extinct" is conjugated here.
http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-extinct.html

We may well be able to extinguish mosquitoes. But I'd much rather take out the malarial parasite.
Otherwise all we do is put massive evolutionary pressure on the parasite to find a new vector.
People will still die of malaria spread by some other insect.
Well then we'd extinct the new vectors too, whether they be another species of mosquito or the "other blood-sucking, disease-spreading parasites" I mentioned in the poll question.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: evan_au on 22/12/2018 01:50:29
Quote from: bored chemist
But I'd much rather take out the malarial parasite.
It is possible to breed up millions of mosquitoes with a gene drive, and release them in mosquito breeding season. That gene will quickly spread through the mosquito population.
- But you don't want to infect millions of people with a gene-drive malaria parasite so that billions of mosquitoes can suck their blood and pass the parasite on to other victims.
- This would place a massive evolutionary pressure on the malaria parasite - and I suspect that malaria can evolve defenses much more quickly than mosquitoes.

Quote from: evan_au
genetically manipulate the mosquito so that it doesn't carry the pathogens.
I am wondering if there would be an enormous outcry against being bitten by a genetically-engineered mosquito?

Even one that doesn't carry malaria?

Spurred on by multiple Spiderman movies, the public might rebel against visions of turning into a horrible human/mosquito hybrid...
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Petrochemicals on 22/12/2018 03:18:30
No they always come back stronger.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Bored chemist on 22/12/2018 10:06:12
The verb "to extinct" is conjugated here.
http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-extinct.html
And this is the same site pretending that you can conjugate  "to dead".
http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-dead.html

Just because a site will blindly stick "to" on a word, or put an "s" on the end, doesn't make that word a verb.
It will do the same with "Dow".
Well then we'd extinct the new vectors too,
http://conjugator.reverso.net/force-conjugation-english-verb-megalomaniac.html
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Peter Dow on 22/12/2018 10:32:45
No they always come back stronger.
Oh I enjoy a scary movie as much as the next scientist.
(https://i.pinimg.com/originals/a8/a7/70/a8a7702721817c8289afefe6a8db969f.jpg)
 ::)
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Peter Dow on 22/12/2018 10:38:57
The verb "to extinct" is conjugated here.
http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-extinct.html
And this is the same site pretending that you can conjugate  "to dead".
http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-english-verb-dead.html

Just because a site will blindly stick "to" on a woord, or put an "s" on the end, doesn't make that word a verb.
It will do the same with "Dow".
Well then we'd extinct the new vectors too,
So it does.
http://conjugator.reverso.net/force-conjugation-english-verb-science.html
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: alancalverd on 27/12/2018 18:13:14
Better to exterminate the parasite. We did it with smallpox, though the vector being other humans made that relatively easy. So I guess exterminating anopheles is the obvious course of action. I'm sure their place will be taken in the food chain by something else so the bats won't starve.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Bill S on 30/12/2018 12:38:03
Quote from: BC
And this is the same site pretending that you can conjugate  "to dead".

Of course you can; Neddie Seagoon did it back in the 50s.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Bill S on 30/12/2018 12:54:27
Quote from: Alan
  So I guess exterminating anopheles is the obvious course of action

Anophelines would be relatively harmless in the absence of Plasmodium species, but I guess making them extinct would be a more difficult task.  I understand we have A. atroparvus here in East Anglia, but not enough malaria parasites for them to have any to carry.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: syhprum on 30/12/2018 14:32:00
While it may be possible to eliminate the specie of mosquito that at present caries the  Plasmodium  parasite that causes the malaria infection I think it would only result in the short term reduction in the amount of malaria the parasite would quickly evolve so that it is spread by another vector.
The only solution I can see is for Humans to evolve so that they can carry the parasite with no ill effects much as Chimpanzees have learnt to live with the SIV virus, I understand that people with sickle cell anaemia are to some extent protected against malaria perhaps there a clue here
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: evan_au on 30/12/2018 20:37:25
Quote
people with sickle cell anaemia are to some extent protected against malaria
This is true; however, anyone who has 2 copies of the sickle-cell gene suffers from a lifelong painful disease that causes the bent (crescent/sickle-shaped) red blood cells to gum up their capillaries, causing severe problems in all organs, and a severely shortened lifespan.

Take 2 healthy parents, each with 1 copy of the sickle-cell gene. On average:
- half of their children will be healthy, with 1 copy of the sickle cell gene
- one quarter of their children will be healthy, but have no protection against malaria
- one quarter of their children will suffer from sickle-cell disease, and suffer even worse from malaria

I would not want to promote that as a cure!

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sickle_cell_disease

The following paper suggests that having 1 copy of the sickle cell gene achieved a 40% reduction in all-cause mortality between the ages of 2-16 months, which is the main ages of malaria susceptibility.
- It also shows the severe negative impact of having 2 copies of the sickle-cell gene
- The Lancet paper is free, but you have to create an account first.
https://doi.org/10.1016%2FS0140-6736%2802%2908273-9
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: alancalverd on 30/12/2018 22:59:01
Human evolution is depressingly slow, generally only observed in retrospect, and so far has produced only one, fairly ineffective resistance to malaria. Engineering for a hundred or a thousand generations in the future is the stuff of science fiction: what we need is a fix for now and our grandchildren, and eradicating anopheles seems to be the best bet.

If plasmodium evolves to another efficient vector the likelihood is that it will be another mosquito, but it will take some time for the evolution of the parasite and the spread of the new vector to reach current levels of infectivity, during which we will be able to monitor the downside, if any, of eliminating the mosquito, and thus make a judgement on whether to eradicate its successor.
Title: Re: Should we extinct malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests?
Post by: Jesusbaker on 24/01/2019 09:27:19
These malaria-spreading mosquitoes and other pests are harmful to human beings and are a threat to lives. Elimination of these tiny creatures is important for a healthy and clean environment. If there is an option to extinct these pests then it's a good option and should be done else an alternative is to hire an expert pest control service provider such as [spam link removed]  for eradicating these pests.