Self-destructing mosquitoes? HUH?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2012 7:17 PM GMT
    I'm not a science guy so I'm hoping someone can explain to me exactly how a living thing can be genetically modified to self-destruct? And if they can do this to mosquitoes, what other animal can they do this do?

    http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/2O5yHB/www.organicauthority.com/blog/organic/will-millions-of-gmo-mosquitoes-be-released-in-key-west/
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    Jun 06, 2012 8:09 PM GMT
    ECnAZ saidAnd if they can do this to mosquitoes, what other animal can they do this do?
    Zombies.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 06, 2012 8:18 PM GMT
    several can. ants are able to do it with boiling acid.

    "Exploding ants

    In at least nine Southeast Asian species of the Cylindricus complex, including Camponotus saundersi, workers feature greatly enlarged mandibular glands that run the entire length of the ant's body. They can release their contents suicidally, rupturing the ant's body and spraying toxic substance from the head, which gives these species the common name 'exploding ants.' The ant has an enormously enlarged mandibular gland, many times the size of a normal ant, which produces the glue. The glue bursts out and entangles and immobilizes all nearby victims.

    The termite species Globitermes sulphureus has a similar defensive mechanism."
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Jun 06, 2012 8:33 PM GMT
    Ths is highly shortsighted. Genocide of a species for a vacation spot so completely summarizes the typical American condition.

    Not to mention that this could easily have severe side effects. There are many other occasions that human tampering has royally messed with things, leading to an overall negative change.
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    Jun 06, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
    Medjai saidThs is highly shortsighted. Genocide of a species for a vacation spot so completely summarizes the typical American condition.

    Not to mention that this could easily have severe side effects. There are many other occasions that human tampering has royally messed with things, leading to an overall negative change.


    Hey, hey, none of that jingoistic stuff. icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

    Anyway, aren't we're talking about MOSQUITOES here? One quote I found easily: "Mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other living creature. World-wide, nearly 4 million people die each year from various mosquito-borne diseases."

    I'm assuming it's true cuz I found it on the internet.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2012 8:38 PM GMT
    They should apply it to cockroaches.

    That's all.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2012 8:44 PM GMT
    Just so it's clear, self destruct just means die. Not explode like an Inspector Gadget letter.

    From one of the news articlesThe mosquitoes are genetically engineered to need the antibiotic tetracycline—common in the lab but scant in the wild—in order to survive past the larval stage. The altered males mate with wild females and presto: Lacking tetracycline to feed on, their offspring die before they're old enough to bite.


    In the lab they are given the tetracycline, but because their offspring inherit the same gene they will not survive.
    Meaning that the wild mosquito population is thinned out by wasting mating energy on these dummy mosquitoes.

    As to how scientists genetically modify an animal.... You will have to ask Mr DNA from Jurassic park. You take the isolated DNA from one organism and insert it into the nucleus of another.
  • Medjai

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    Jun 06, 2012 8:47 PM GMT
    showme said
    Medjai saidThs is highly shortsighted. Genocide of a species for a vacation spot so completely summarizes the typical American condition.

    Not to mention that this could easily have severe side effects. There are many other occasions that human tampering has royally messed with things, leading to an overall negative change.


    Hey, hey, none of that jingoistic stuff. icon_mad.gificon_mad.gificon_mad.gif

    Anyway, aren't we're talking about MOSQUITOES here? One quote I found easily: "Mosquitoes are responsible for more human deaths than any other living creature. World-wide, nearly 4 million people die each year from various mosquito-borne diseases."

    I'm assuming it's true cuz I found it on the internet.


    It doesn't matter. We have long been tinkering with things we don't understand or control. Genocide of a species completely fits that. We cannot predict the ripples this will cause. And considering this risk is not being taken for disease prevention, but rather for their inconvenience in a holiday destination makes this so much more childish.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2012 8:58 PM GMT
    ^^ This particular mosquito has already been released in the Cayman Islands, Brazil and in Malaysia to combat the serious illnesses such as malaria. The number of mosquitoes being released is to thin the herd, not annihilate the species completely.

    From what I understand of this Key West experiment, is that it is not intended to make a vacation spot nicer, it's just a field test ground, that it is a vacation spot is irrelevant.

    I understand the trepidation whenever GM is mentioned, but this is a much better solution than using pesticides which kills off other species as well.
  • Medjai

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    Jun 06, 2012 9:08 PM GMT
    Stuttershock said^^ This particular mosquito has already been released in the Cayman Islands, Brazil and in Malaysia to combat the serious illnesses such as malaria. The number of mosquitoes being released is to thin the herd, not annihilate the species completely.

    From what I understand of this Key West experiment, is that it is not intended to make a vacation spot nicer, it's just a field test ground, that it is a vacation spot is irrelevant.

    I understand the trepidation whenever GM is mentioned, but this is a much better solution than using pesticides which kills off other species as well.


    And the 'disease' the Mosquitos are a risk for hasn't shown up in the area for two years. This isn't about protecting people, it's about convenience. The location has been hand picked. Biotech companies do not make these decisions lightly. There is money in the location.
  • Little_Spoon

    Posts: 1562

    Jun 06, 2012 9:11 PM GMT
    Zombies...
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    Jun 06, 2012 9:18 PM GMT
    Medjai said

    And the 'disease' the Mosquitos are a risk for hasn't shown up in the area for two years. This isn't about protecting people, it's about convenience. The location has been hand picked. Biotech companies do not make these decisions lightly. There is money in the location.


    But don't you think that they chose Key West because it could be seen as a possible entry point for disease? Sure, it hasn't seen dengue in two years, but one case can turn into many cases in a short period of time. Seeing the close promixity that Key West has to the Cayman Islands, where this experiment has been ongoing, that seems to make some sense to me.
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    Jun 06, 2012 9:20 PM GMT
    http://www.keysmosquito.org/
  • Medjai

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    Jun 06, 2012 9:22 PM GMT
    ECnAZ said
    Medjai said

    And the 'disease' the Mosquitos are a risk for hasn't shown up in the area for two years. This isn't about protecting people, it's about convenience. The location has been hand picked. Biotech companies do not make these decisions lightly. There is money in the location.


    But don't you think that they chose Key West because it could be seen as a possible entry point for disease? Sure, it hasn't seen dengue in two years, but one case can turn into many cases in a short period of time. Seeing the close promixity that Key West has to the Cayman Islands, where this experiment has been ongoing, that seems to make some sense to me.


    This isn't malaria. It's a dying disease that presents little more than flu like symptoms, even in third world countries. It's for omfort, not safety.
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    Jun 06, 2012 9:34 PM GMT
    Medjai said

    This isn't malaria. It's a dying disease that presents little more than flu like symptoms, even in third world countries. It's for omfort, not safety.


    Oh, c'mon. Dengue is otherwise known as "break bone fever." Hardly inconsequential to those who get it.

    I take it your objection isn't vector control but the means?
  • Medjai

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    Jun 06, 2012 9:37 PM GMT
    showme said
    Medjai said

    This isn't malaria. It's a dying disease that presents little more than flu like symptoms, even in third world countries. It's for omfort, not safety.


    Oh, c'mon. Dengue is otherwise known as "break bone fever." Hardly inconsequential to those who get it.

    I take it your objection isn't vector control but the means?


    It has to do with the severe, but it fatal joint pain. Yeah, it sucks, but is not a justifiable risk.

    More or less. Vector control isn't synonymous with vector extinction.
  • Medjai

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    Jun 06, 2012 9:42 PM GMT
    Shawnathan saidI have an idea for vector control - don't destroy all of the habitat of bats, birds, fish etc. that feast on the mosquitos.


    Or at the very least create programs to suppliment or support their growth.
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    Jun 06, 2012 9:43 PM GMT
    ECnAZ said
    Medjai said

    And the 'disease' the Mosquitos are a risk for hasn't shown up in the area for two years. This isn't about protecting people, it's about convenience. The location has been hand picked. Biotech companies do not make these decisions lightly. There is money in the location.


    But don't you think that they chose Key West because it could be seen as a possible entry point for disease? Sure, it hasn't seen dengue in two years, but one case can turn into many cases in a short period of time. Seeing the close promixity that Key West has to the Cayman Islands, where this experiment has been ongoing, that seems to make some sense to me.


    Exactly.

    Sorry I was wrong about it just being a test ground, it was specifically chosen for as reasons you said.

    I think that it should be pointed out that just because there hasn't been an outbreak of the disease in 2 years doesn't mean there is no longer any problem, part of the reason there hasn't been an outbreak is the local council has been using pesticides to keep the populations down.

    Part of the purpose of population control, is to keep mosquito populations down so that if an outbreak occurred it wouldn't rapidly spread via a large population of mosquitoes. Prevention is part of the measure to keep an outbreak from occurring again.

    Dengue fever is a dying disease because we are fighting to irradiate it, if you just say “well it's almost dead let's just stop worrying about it”, that is the point where it can come back again.
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    Jun 06, 2012 9:44 PM GMT
    Medjai said

    More or less. Vector control isn't synonymous with vector extinction.


    OK, but I must be missing something. Won't happen unless you somehow manage to replace ALL the male mosquitos with these, or keep ALL of the unmodified mosquitos from breeding, seems damned unlikely. And the offspring of the natural mosquitoes will go on to breed another day.
  • Medjai

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    Jun 06, 2012 9:50 PM GMT
    Stuttershock said
    ECnAZ said
    Medjai said

    And the 'disease' the Mosquitos are a risk for hasn't shown up in the area for two years. This isn't about protecting people, it's about convenience. The location has been hand picked. Biotech companies do not make these decisions lightly. There is money in the location.


    But don't you think that they chose Key West because it could be seen as a possible entry point for disease? Sure, it hasn't seen dengue in two years, but one case can turn into many cases in a short period of time. Seeing the close promixity that Key West has to the Cayman Islands, where this experiment has been ongoing, that seems to make some sense to me.


    Exactly.

    Sorry I was wrong about it just being a test ground, it was specifically chosen for as reasons you said.

    I think that it should be pointed out that just because there hasn't been an outbreak of the disease in 2 years doesn't mean there is no longer any problem, part of the reason there hasn't been an outbreak is the local council has been using pesticides to keep the populations down.

    Part of the purpose of population control, is to keep mosquito populations down so that if an outbreak occurred it wouldn't rapidly spread via a large population of mosquitoes. Prevention is part of the measure to keep an outbreak from occurring again.

    Dengue fever is a dying disease because we are fighting to irradiate it, if you just say “well it's almost dead let's just stop worrying about it”, that is the point where it can come back again.


    This isn't the black plague, scarlet fever, small pox, malaria, or polio. It's a virus on par with influenza. Potentially wiping out a crucial species for this holiday inconvenience is massive, and uncontrolable, overkill.
  • Medjai

    Posts: 2671

    Jun 06, 2012 9:51 PM GMT
    showme said
    Medjai said

    More or less. Vector control isn't synonymous with vector extinction.


    OK, but I must be missing something. Won't happen unless you somehow manage to replace ALL the male mosquitos with these, or keep ALL of the unmodified mosquitos from breeding, seems damned unlikely. And the offspring of the natural mosquitoes will go on to breed another day.


    The full ramifications of biological solutions is not predictable. This has long since been a known and very real risk.
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    Jun 06, 2012 10:02 PM GMT
    The article mentioned unknown repercussion to biodiversity and ecology of the environment. For example a bat can consume thousands of mosquitoes in a single night (http://www.sandiegozoo.org/animalbytes/t-bat.html )

    As a geneticist and a naturalist, I have seen the many evils of GMO running rampant in the US, foremost Monsanto's self destructive seeds. I can't eat rice, corn, and many soy as they have all been contaminated genetically. White rice are harder to digest as they are altered significantly ... and many cross breed with wild strains. Many rice species just sit in my stomach... and feel heavy like ... wood and glue.... way to go goddamn dumb ass juvenile GMO science.

    To answer the OP, these GMO mosquitoes have some of the genes and gene pathways altered so these genes don't get expressed into necessary hormone and proteins to further growth. Specifically.... "The lethal gene RIDL produces a protein called tTA, which is able to act as a switch to control the activity of other genes. In the modified insects, the presence of high levels of this gene causes the machinery in the insect’s cells to go into over-drive... causing the insects to die".... Just imagine they have altered your genes so that testosterone could not be created... so you will never feel the need to reproduce or to jerk off. (how sad that would be... as sex is most sought after activity on the net. Genealogy/family search is 2nd interestingly )

    Germany have kicked out companies creating GMO in foods. But in the US the FDA is in bed with GMO companies to make corn (saw King Corn the documentary, anyone? ) soy, cotton, etc... These companies are also blocking bills to label foods as GMO ... so be very aware... I only eat organic food, and I grow a lot of my herbs ... they don't need much soil and grow easily in pots.

    But some GMO organism are useful in understanding diseases. Labs around the worlds have created glow-in-the-dark cats, mice, dogs, and monkeys species... Koreans are obsessed with genetics as they have created the first glow in the dark dogs (Saw the movies "The Islands" with Ewan McGregor any one? It score big there relatively to every where else. Don't be surprised if the Chinese will clone the first super soldier to take over Asia and then the world.

    Playing with GMOs are like playing with nuclear weapons in the WW2 area ( way to go...Let's nuke innocent civilians, babies, kids, grandmothers... and by the way, we need to nuke half the state of New Mexico and store the nuclear waste in Nevada for next half million years...so said the god damn politicians)

    ... SO GMOs are new, fun, get-to-play god...it's exciting, it's get attention... BUT it can also extinct species and the human race along ... GMO crops and pesticides have been tied to millions of disappeared bee colonies.. guess what? Monsanto just bought the company of scientist trying to study the disappearing bees (to put them out of business or to shut them up)

    ... There are other ways to stop mosquito diseases, although more expensive, like breed more bats, or fish that eats mosquito larvae - just look to permaculture.... BTW, people may not have salmon to eat soon, if GMO salmons escape to the wild and create self destruct salmons, or salmon that taste like ... farmed-raised salmon ... yuck... ... I'm forced to go vegetarian to maintain the highest integrity of my food ... although I love wild salmon sashimi...BOTTOM LINE: be careful with GMOs
  • rioriz

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    Jun 06, 2012 10:02 PM GMT
    His is very interesting!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2012 10:29 PM GMT
    We're fucking with Nature. Nature can and will fuck back.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 06, 2012 10:31 PM GMT
    ^^
    Nature started the fight for survival, and now she wants to quit because she's losing. Well I say, hard cheese!