Chris Coffey
Thoughtful article rather than a re-write of a press release - nice work Loz! I don\'t know what the answer to the GM quandry is, but fascinating to know that it\'s already in use in the animal world at large. I\'ll be watching this space...
Jamie Estep
I can\'t stand mosquito\'s but looking at this from a scientific standpoint, how can anyone suggest that there will be no negative repercussions by eradicating them all. If mosquito\'s have accounted for or have been part in half of all human deaths over our existence, then they have no doubt played a huge role in our evolution over the entire course of it. The repercussions on the environment may be negligible, but seriously, we can\'t predict the weather, how can we predict the effects of wiping out an entire species that\'s been here for millions of years. And as for the playing god argument, we\'ve also messed up just about every eco system on the planet. The coral reefs are a mess. There\'s virtually no more sharks on earth. The rainforests are slowly but surely being deforested into oblivion. Big cats, rhinos, elephants, tuna, hundreds of others are on the verge of extinction. I guess you could say, what\'s the harm in one more species... When the only consequence we can see in doing something like this is the immediate one, there\'s bound to be problems as a result of it later on. Humans never get things right the first try. We spend the rest of time trying to compensate for our errors.
Paul Schacht
Kinda like \"Nuke \'em till they glow and shoot \'em in the dark!\", but without all the nasty radioactive side effects. Since every human being doesn\'t think twice about swatting every mosquito within reach, I think the ethical question was decided a long time ago. In fact, our fight or flight genetics pretty much demand that we eliminate threats to our survival.
Since my daughter died of malaria when she was 16 a rather long time ago, I have a somewhat vested interest in seeing anything that reduces the death toll caused by the mosquito.
Since DDT was banned there has been an upsurge of fatalities caused by the mosquito, now we have a way to fight back ao I say - go for it, and may mankind win!
Ce D
First crops, now insects, next rodents, then livestock, primates and of course ourselves.
I stopped reading horror fiction because I find reality is much more frightening.
Timothy Neill
We don\'t need a population control device that is so arbitrary, cruel and mindless as disease, when we are capable of doing the job with something as simple as Female Literacy. Forcing backwards cultures to educate women would control overpopulation within one generation, and allow exploitation of an abundant untapped resource in those regions, namely the imagination, talent and labor of the female half of humanity. There is a good reason some nations are so poor, and until they recognize the true value of women, I think they will stay that way.
I don\'t know that we are intelligent enough to decide the fate of a species. Doubtless there are consequences that we can\'t imagine until they come about, however, I am pretty sure Nature is a dynamic enough system that it can manage to function pretty well without this particular variety of mosquito. I won\'t shed a tear, having been a walking banquet for mosquitoes my entire life. I hate them deeply.
There\'s only one species that could be eradicated with no effect whatsoever on the overall environment, a species that no other species relies on, that causes more deaths than mosquitoes and which the planet would sigh with relief with its guessed it.
Not sure whether eradicating ourselves is a more noble deed than doing so to any other species. Is it really a part of the discussion anyway?
Would a mosquito push the button if it was given the chance to eradicate human beings? Only if it would be able to switch its diet to any other animal, I guess.. Then again, mosquitos don\'t have human brains, so the whole ethics discussion is a complexity only we are privileged to bring into the subject.
Would we think/behave like animals, now that would be a different discussion. We would probably only kill to survive. In animal language: to feed or to PROTECT. Let the person throw the first stone who would gladly sacrifice his/her child for the sakes of human \"natural selection\". After all, who cares about the masses in Africa dying of these ugly diseases?.. I must agree with Mr Schacht here, who probably is the only person having a vote on the subject, if we talk about ETHICS.
Yes, I think it is our MORAL obligation to protect ours. If you don\'t feel like being part of the survivors, there\'s always the choice: To be or Not to be! That being said, all the cutthroat environmentalists please keep to themselves before attacking yours truly with the allegation of being a destroyer of our planet: our foremost aim should be to protect and preserve, I fully support that. Harmony with our environment. With ALL of it. Or NONE of it. Otherwise we are just fooling ourselves by protecting the noble little stingers while killing the biggest mammals on earth by the masses. So let\'s just not have this little harmony idealism at the cost of having inferior species survive over ours: the human race has the POTENTIAL to create for the better and each individual should strive for just that. For the time being we do not exactly live up to our true potential, but why should we give up on our species already? We\'ve \"only\" been destroying the planet for about 150 years: if we fail in surviving this mess we got ourselves into, we simply got what we deserved! In case we wake up in time though, why should we help our eradication with the likes of the little stingy buggers? Might as well stand on top of the hill when the thunderstorm comes.. I would want my children to grow up safely, thank you. Without dengue fever lurking around the corner in our peaceful neighbourhood or in the Indo jungle for that matter. No, Africans and Asian don\'t exactly want to see their children dying either, a tipsy bit cruel to talk about millions dying as collateral damage.
Anyway, it is indeed a hypocrit thing to do and so typically human to separate the mosquito matter from the rest of our \"survival deeds\": we could easily convince ourselves to eradicate mosquitos, for the simple reason that everyone hates them and they are proven to harm humans. Hmm, wasn\'t that the same that Spielberg tried to picture the shark?.. Until of course we found out it is a vital part of the foodchain, now we\'re back to protecting it. Shame the whale is not considered such by many, neither is the dolphin really being protected or the slaughter of millions of sharks being stopped and I could continue the list of endandered species. The hypocrism: it\'s easier to kill what we hardly see. Less of a mess. And who cares if in 100 years from now it turns out that mosquitos hold vital essences that could save mankind from total extinction by a newly mutated flu virus?..
great article
Ian Walker
So why not get the little buggers to inoculate against disease, make \'em little gene factories that help protect us against disease... Now that would be a true symbiotic relationship, and would signify real mastery of genetic engineering without eradicating another critter.
Failing that, nuke \'em til they glow...