Google’s Parent Has a Plan to Eliminate Mosquitoes Worldwide
Dec 18, 2019 at 12:27 am #3623238Russ WBPL Member
@gatome83Locale: Southeastern US
Unintended consequences indeed. 8 billion folks on the planet, and suddenly there are no more mosquitos in The Wind Rivers. We’ll be completely overrun. I’m going to start a mosquito repopulation effort to drive out the hordes!
I used to believe yellow jackets were of zero use, what is their purpose and who would really miss them?
Seriously, when has elimination of a preditor species had a positive long-term positive impact?Dec 18, 2019 at 12:51 am #3623241
This is about one species Aedes aegypti and it’s about a half a million people dying each year. Now I agree that there is a risk of unintended consequences but same goes for anything we do when it comes to diseases, the economy, etc.
Maybe we should stop messing with nature all together. Sick people? Oh well.Dec 18, 2019 at 6:23 am #3623268Bob KBPL Member
Seriously, when has elimination of a predator species had a positive long-term positive impact?
It’s been only 40 years since the variola virus was eliminated but so far, so good.Dec 18, 2019 at 6:35 pm #3623310
Katt, I do like that we have the FDA to regulate new drugs that are introduced to the market. I don’t want Gooogle or Facebook introducing a new money making vaccine without review and approval. What I’m suggesting is that we have something akin to that before we go off eradicating species or introducing genetically engineered organisms into the general environment. Google wants to act with no oversight whatsoever. that sets a dangerous precedent. As I said, Zuckerberg could get a bright idea about eliminating red tides and introduce some engineered species into the oceans or China do the same with vitamin producing mosquitoes, etc. etc. The possibility for harm is enormous; you don’t just recall engineered bugs.
We assume that google’s effort will work, but where’s the review? I’m not advocating for malaria. I’d love to see ticks eradicated but I want to know more. In any case, there’s a tick vaccine that was pulled from the market some years ago; I’d rather see that re introduced.Dec 18, 2019 at 7:05 pm #3623315
+1 jscott – unintended consequences – FDA approval would be a start but eliminating mosquitoes seems very risky
maybe vaccinating mosquitoes against Malaria would be betterDec 18, 2019 at 7:35 pm #3623318
The FDA is not an international organization and is behind several of its European counterparts. It is not a problem free organization and I would rather their European and African counterparts have a say in this and not necessarily in that order.Dec 18, 2019 at 7:39 pm #3623319
There have been plenty of scandals with the FDA’s corruption that I would be wary of touting it as some end all to what is good or bad.
carry on .Dec 18, 2019 at 8:52 pm #3623325
FDA far from perfect although maybe the solution is to reform them. To enable that, maybe reform campaign finance laws. But that would require replacing a few members of the Supremes or make a constitutional amendment
and it would need international participation also
FDA is better at approving individual drugs. For something like considering eliminating a species there should be a lot more people considering this. Include our congress although they seem pretty dysfunctional right now.Dec 19, 2019 at 12:54 am #3623365
Also: genes mutate and evolve. Who knows what will emerge 100 generations of mosquitoes down the road. I doubt it’s predictable.
BUT: there may be an answer to all this. cure malaria for sure, if you can.Dec 19, 2019 at 4:01 am #3623395
I got stymied by the paywall on Bloomberg so excuse me if there’s something in the originally referred article that I missed but I gather from reading previous comments the subject is ONE mosquito species out of 3500 hundred; Aedes Aegypti. From what I can determine this mosquito is quite effective at transmitting several deadly virus like Dengue, Zika, and particularly Yellow Fever. I couldn’t find anything about it transferring Malaria but maybe I missed that.
The Aedes Aegypti was introduced to the western hemisphere @ 1666 in Barbados probably by a slave ship so they’ve been in this side of the world for 354 years?. The yellow fever virus was also almost surely brought over by an enslaved human being from Africa. This species was possibly or debatedly both the cause AND the reason for widespread slavery becoming established in the western hemisphere as explained by the author Charles Mann in his book 1493 about the Columbian Exchange that occurred following the “discovery” of the “new world” by Columbus and the resulting transfer back and forth between the hemispheres of everything from people and genes to plants, animals, drugs, germs, viruses (Syphilis being one of the few examples that went west to east) while scores of deadly illnesses went the other way wiping out possibly more than 80% of the inhabitants of the western hemisphere; most without any direct contact with actual Europeans.
The Aedes Aegypti became a reason for the widespread adoption of slavery after it’s introduction along with yellow fever because of the incredible mortality rate of Europeans exposed to the virus. People of African origin evidently had generations and millennia of exposure and typically survived exposure to the virus (and also were more resistant to Malaria spread by the Anopheles mosquito) while Europeans died like flies. Who to clear the land and tend the fields?The solution became African slavery.
The irony is incredible? (the mind boggles when considering appropriate terms)
Without the Aedes Aegypti and Yellow Fever it is possible and maybe even likely that we would not have had the Civil War which killed more than TWICE the number of Americans as ALL OTHER AMERICAN WARS COMBINED!
In fact without the Aedes I don’t think it’s too big a stretch to say that the current events of this very day would not have occurred.Dec 19, 2019 at 5:18 am #3623433KarenBPL Member
I can’t believe no one has mentioned birds. Songbirds eat mosquitoes, and many bird species are rapidly disappearing. We’re back to Silent Spring and I’m shocked at the lack of environmental understanding here. The unintended consequences are horrific. The ultimate impact of wiping out a species that is critical to pollination, fish, birds, and more, will probably come back on us, causing even more unforeseen devastation to humans. There are too many historic examples to even begin listing them. Those who advocate this action need to take biology 101 first.
Yes, malaria is deadly, but so is war, something America promotes and supports worldwide. It’s why we glorify our troops and let them board airplanes first. We strategize to kill all the mosquitoes but could be saving even more lives through diplomacy. No they’re not the same, but if the ultimate value under discussion is human life, it’s a fair argument.
There are also other effective approaches to preventing malaria deaths. Nets, draining standing water near homes, limited spraying, etc. Another is addressing global poverty; in countries where malaria is prevalent, it is not the rich who tend to suffer. Preventing war goes a long way toward keeping people out of poverty. Oh wait, I’m back on war, aren’t I? Are we in chaff or environment here?Dec 19, 2019 at 5:34 am #3623445
Again, for the 4th time here, this is one species of mosquito ( out of a couple thousand) not all mosquitos. All some of us are saying is that is it worth looking into, because it is.
Please do spare me the high horse.Dec 19, 2019 at 5:48 am #3623447KarenBPL Member
Here’s a great tale of unintended consequences while trying to prevent disease, where human action made it worse. I could probably list 100+ but I’ve got other stuff to do. This one is an interesting story, recounted in The Coming Plague. Considering the social factors that contribute to disease is critical to the solution.Dec 20, 2019 at 2:35 am #3623586
This thread is becoming like a reading comprehension Rorschach inkblot test. Maybe it’s the title of the thread? Or the title of the Bloomberg article?
Aedes Aegypti: 1 of 3500 worldwide mosquito species
NOT native to the western hemisphere
Arrived in western hemisphere @ 354 years ago. Stowaway on a slaver. Twofer on massive tragedy.
Currently DOES disrupt an environment established (what is an established environment anyway? when does that occur?) since at least the last ice age?
Does NOT transmit malaria
Transmits lots of other nasty virus all of which (not positive here…. not a virologist) are also NOT native to the western hemisphere
I think it was Newman who used to say….Carry on.Dec 20, 2019 at 2:44 am #3623589
You are indeed correct. I did reread it this morning for the first time since I posted it and I feel pretty dumb.
It is the Anopheles mosquitoes transmit malaria. Let’s get them next, every last one of them.Dec 20, 2019 at 5:03 am #3623599Andre WSpectator
Yup, the article is talking about aedes aegypti, well known carrier of Dengue Fever virus, NOT malaria.
But I think the philosophical discussion here is relevant nonetheless. Having the power to target and eliminate one whole species, at which point is it justified to do so?
Have we exhausted every other options? Is it truly the biggest threat to humanity? Is there a corporate/political gain behind this solution?
You know, just simple questions you need to ask before, say, start a war.
A super advanced alien race came to earth, saw the earth is dying. Which species do you think they would vote to eliminate?Dec 20, 2019 at 2:35 pm #3623624
would that be a good thing or a bad thing? : )Dec 20, 2019 at 2:55 pm #3623626
^^^ oh I could probably guess what each person on this thread thinks about that. Not a misanthrope myself.Dec 20, 2019 at 3:43 pm #3623632
I’m not a misanthrope, just a wannabe comicDec 20, 2019 at 3:44 pm #3623633
^^^ I don’t think of you as one JerryDec 20, 2019 at 4:16 pm #3623638
but do you think of me as a wannabe comic?Dec 20, 2019 at 4:29 pm #3623640
See, a comic would have written “so I’m a misanthrope.” You gotta play on the ambiguity of Katt’s response.Dec 20, 2019 at 4:43 pm #3623641
You’re good Jeffrey :)
Jerry’s humor is too sophisticated for me. I keep thinking he’s serious when he’s really playing me ;)Dec 20, 2019 at 4:46 pm #3623642
I could see pinning it back to it’s original hemisphere. The toll of sudden exposure to viruses absent time, generations?? for adaptation seems pretty steep.
And I appreciate the concern about where this all might lead but turning that on it’s head should we “free” the bacteria? The viruses? I think there’s still a stash of polio in Afghanistan and maybe the NW provinces of Pakistan.
My mom (who would be 106 if she were still alive just for reference) almost died from Diptheria back in the day. They had to ram a charcoal coated cylinder/poker down her throat 3 or 4 times a day. Antibiotics hadn’t been invented. My dad’s brother died in @ 1928 from Pneumonia. Same story. I’m pretty sure the current generation doesn’t know how lucky they’ve got it. Not that many people around with a direct connection back to how it used to be before…
Malaria/Anopheles is another question. I think I read @ 600,000 deaths a year? malaria is caused by a protozoa, which means that the organism is single-celled unlike viruses and bacteria.
Seems like the protozoa might be a more efficacious target than Anopheles.
The irony of both (all 3: Aedes, Yellow Fever and Malaria) being introduced through or by the slave trade is hard to ignore. OTOH I believe there is a theory that Zika was introduced to Brazil by just one traveler? Gimme Shelter: It’s just a jet away, just a jet away. Interesting times.Dec 20, 2019 at 4:54 pm #3623644
I don’t mean to be playing anyone, maybe if I was a better humorist it would be more obvious
The best joke is when the subject fully understands the joke
I think it’s not funny and terrible when a joke is at someone else’s expense and they don’t understand it. Laughing at someone is not good.
In this case I was just showing appreciation for Andre’s joke
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Our Community Posts are Moderated
Backpacking Light community posts are moderated and here to foster helpful and positive discussions about lightweight backpacking. Please be mindful of our values and boundaries and review our Community Guidelines prior to posting.