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2019-06-08 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Environment , 166 references Ignore this thread
A GM Unicorn? Maybe
[Comments enabled]

Malaria was seriously dented by DDT.  Then the environmental liars started up -- with Silent Spring being the peak of the insanity.  Virtually everything in that book was a lie and everyone involved in that lie who is still alive deserves to be hunted down, slaughtered and their remains fed to feral hogs.

Why?  Because malaria, following the DDT ban, made a monstrous resurgence and millions are dead as a direct consequence.  What's the appropriate punishment for a collusive bunch of ****wit faux "scientists" that through their insanity cause millions of deaths?  Something slow, painful, and that leaves so little even the Devil won't want the remains.

Now we have a potential new weapon; it's not yet proved "in the wild", but it shows a hell of a lot of promise.

A fungus - genetically enhanced to produce spider toxin - can rapidly kill huge numbers of the mosquitoes that spread malaria, a study suggests.

Trials, which took place in Burkina Faso, showed mosquito populations collapsed by 99% within 45 days.

The researchers say their aim is not to make the insects extinct but to help stop the spread of malaria.

There is severe risk to this approach, however.

"The transgenic fungus quickly collapsed the mosquito population in just two generations," said Dr Brian Lovett, from the University of Maryland.

Tests also showed the fungus was specific to these mosquitoes and did not affect other insects such as bees.

Uh huh.

The issue of course is that not everything is an insect.  Fungi have been around a long time and infections with them are extremely common - and frequently benign.  Not any more, if this one gets going in you -- or in any other organism.

Never mind that not all insects were checked either, obviously.  The big ones that worry people are pollinators (e.g. bees) but they're hardly the only place where risk exists.

This sort of investigation has great promise -- but also grave risk.  Said risk doesn't have to be intentional either; pure accident is more than sufficient. The worst part of it is that technological advancement in genetic modification has made this sort of experimentation much easier and less-expensive than it used to be, bringing it well within the reach of both those who are simply not careful enough but also those who may well be malicious but are not state actors.

Be careful what you wish for.

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Chiff
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A couple of other mosquito reduction initiatives. I favor XON method of gene editing that cannot cross over to other species


https://www.fool.com/investing/2016/06/0....
Captainkidd
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Has anyone thought of the unintended consequences on other species that might be affected?
Bats?
Spiders that catch mosquitos in their webs?
Birds that feed on said spiders?

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A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. --Mario Puzo

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. -- Henry Ford
Analog
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Ever since i read Frank Herbert's "White Plague" twenty five years ago my ears perk up at mention of any genetically engineered bio-agent.

In that book an aggrieved victim of terrorism cooks up a plague virus in his basement to target the ethnic group that killed his wife. Author makes it quit plausible.

Whoever wrote it, Dune i presume, (1983) obviously knew something of the GM craft.
Which i do not.

I recommend the book as an evening's entertainment and an eye opener to what was plausible in the 1980's and is probably kinderspiel now..
goodreads.com/book/show/93448.The_White_Plague

a.




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Never trust a computer with anything important.
Captainkidd
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Lots of plausible science fiction in this genre.

Do you want vampires,zombies and mutant super villains?
'Cause that's how you get vampires, zombies, and mutant super villains.

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A lawyer with a briefcase can steal more than a thousand men with guns. --Mario Puzo

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning. -- Henry Ford
Radiosity
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Sunny UK
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I recall an episode of the Outer Limits (the 90s one) where some doomsday cult spread a virus that killed basically the whole world's population. Maybe let's not go doing things that make it easier for nutjobs to exterminate the whole species?

Meanwhile, in Africa, ebola is rampant and the dumbass superstitious idiots who live there are killing the doctors trying to help them. Human stupidity on full display in both cases.
Maynard
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I have had Zika 2 years ago. Two of the most miserable weeks of my life in the middle of a jungle. So I'm not really a fan of mosquitoes. Isn't there a metallica album...
Chaparral
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I would be perfectly happy to see Aedes and Anopheles driven to biological extinction. Add tapeworms, hookworms, and fleas as well.
Goldmanssack
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@Maynard - Kill 'em All?

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"But like every one of the super-states that preceded it, it has one iron rule: Logic is an enemy and truth is a menace." - Rod Serling, 1961.
Aethor
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Wait a moment. People didn't like DDT - which doesn't procreate and multiply - and they want a fungus instead, which multiplies on its own. The logic boggles the mind.

Oh, and it's engineered to produce funnel web spider toxin? Some subspecies of those spiders (like Australian funnel web spider) have toxin that's lethal to humans...

Now all we need is a wee bit of a mutation...

Maynard
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I have had Zika 2 years ago. Two of the most miserable weeks of my life in the middle of a jungle. So I'm not really a fan of mosquitoes. Isn't there a metallica album...
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