September 17, 2016
Expanding Miami Zika Zone: Time To Wipe Out Invasive Mosquito

The Miami Beach danger zone for mosquitoes carrying Zika virus is expanding.

This isn't just about microcephaly in developing fetuses. Since Zika attacks neural progenitor cells it might cause lasting damage in adults too. A case of acute sensory polyneuropathy in an adult caused symptoms that lasted for months. It is suspected that Zika causes inflammation of sensory nerves and possibly an auto-immune response.

So Zika is bad.

What should we do about it? Wipe out the mosquitoes that carry it. Totally drive them to extinction. These mosquitoes are invasive in the Western Hemisphere. If a mosquito causes major health problems for the human species we should just wipe it out. Wiping out a mosquito species could be done with gene drive technology. I say lets do it.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2016 September 17 06:01 PM 


Comments
Jeff Bonwick said at September 17, 2016 8:09 PM:

Completely agree. There is no 'magic balance' in nature -- millions of species have gone extinct and they're not missed. Enough with the Gaia mysticism -- if something causes mass human suffering, kill it. All of it.

Abelard Lindsey said at September 18, 2016 11:30 AM:

Its clear that the government agencies are both too bureaucratized as well as beholden to pressure groups (e.g. greenies, etc.) to do anything useful. I think someone is going to say "fuck it" and just make a "gene drive" on their own and get rid of the mosquitoes that carry Zika. I expect this in the next year or two.

Brett Bellmore said at September 19, 2016 3:32 AM:

Absolutely.

I get the impression that the federal government, at least during the present administration, isn't actually that interested in solving this problem. In fact, the Democrats are filibustering Zika funding. While the Republicans are using it as a vehicle for attacking PP.

Now, I'm all for attacking the abortion industry, but this is a bit of an emergency, no?

Abelard Lindsey said at September 19, 2016 9:09 AM:

Both parties are making asses of themselves in using Zika as a political football. This is reason #323 why there are no political solutions to problems. There are only DIY technological solutions to problems.

James Bowery said at September 20, 2016 4:45 AM:

Zika is also sexually transmitted. Not that sex has anything to do with neuronal stem cells. I mean we've got birth control and abortion nowadays right? You just have to be a little more conscientious to avoid popping a few out that others have to take care of for the lifespan of a microcephalic. This is not going to tear at the social fabric already weakened by diversity. And keep in mind the armies of first responder homeless rummaging through trash cans to find all those IEDs and babies for us. Microcephalics can rummage through trash cans with the best of them, can't they?

Hairybroness said at September 20, 2016 10:54 AM:

Randal, do you honestly think that a gene intervention will go smoothly? How much of a chance and how serious of a food chain disruption could occur if the intervention goes wrong and somehow stops the breeding of more than just mosquitoes? Oopsie, we killed 10% of the small bugs and now the links in the food chain are breaking even faster than already has been happening?

Too risky!

Nick G said at September 24, 2016 4:36 PM:

I think someone is going to say "fuck it" and just make a "gene drive" on their own and get rid of the mosquitoes that carry Zika. I expect this in the next year or two.

Yikes.

So...how hard would it be for an individual to do that to Homo Sapiens??

If it's easy, then how long before someone with that knowledge is feeling suicidal one day, and decides to take everyone with them?

Abelard Lindsey said at September 25, 2016 1:52 PM:

Gene drives only work with species with short lifespans and high reproduction rates, like insects. Their effect works over many generations. They would not be effective in humans.

Hairybroness said at September 26, 2016 9:56 AM:

"I think someone is going to say "fuck it" and just make a "gene drive" on their own and get rid of the mosquitoes that carry Zika. I expect this in the next year or two.

Yikes.

So...how hard would it be for an individual to do that to Homo Sapiens??

If it's easy, then how long before someone with that knowledge is feeling suicidal one day, and decides to take everyone with them?"

..... and The Drake Equation gets another variable.

James Bowery said at October 2, 2016 8:32 PM:

Why haven't I heard anything about wiping out malaria with gene-drive?

No, I do NOT mean wiping out or changing the mosquito vectors.

I mean plasmodia.

Unifore said at October 5, 2016 1:06 AM:

Eliminating the mosquito massively can be a good option, however, ensuring this will not cause any side effect, so this should be testified by empirical experiment in lab firstly. Sometimes, we need to consider the effect of eco-chain the mosquito may play.

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