Dilemma: Humans versus nature

The dilemma facing humanity is what to do with pesky mosquitoes now that genetic technology such as CRISPR may be able to wipe out the Anopheles mosquito (which bears malaria and kills hundreds of thousands worldwide annually).  What do we do?  Eliminate this mosquito to save millions of human lives while possibly upsetting environmental balance?  Some animals depend on the mosquito for food.  What is the correct choice?

Link:  Gene editing/CRISPR by Darrell Barnes


Here is a mini-documentary of corrective measures I have personally taken on behalf and on the side of nature in a plant-world dilemma:  ajuga for erosion control.  The story follows in the video below.

Video link:  My own remediation story

Ajuga intercept video 2.0, March 13, 2019


Other local Mississippi invasives:  Giant Salvinia in reservoirs

MDWFP Finds Invasive Plant at Ross Barnett Reservoir

 

 

109 Comments

  1. Although mosquitoes are irritating, they should be left alone because they are the food source for some animals and losing them could cause other worldly things to happen. But they could try it on a small part of the world to see how it works

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  2. I see more cons than pros. It will be very expensive, it will take a long time to finally get rid of every single one of them, and we are very unaware of the side effects of this action. Therefore, nature is very smart and humans have always learned to adapt to new things.

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  3. Personally out of sheer hatred for mosquitoes, i would say kill them all.! Also, at the same time, they are a food source for other living creatures and there is absolutely enough Environmental upset going on. So we’re messed up either way. There are a lot of things that causes diseases and kills people. Are we gonna wipe out those too?

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  4. I think all life forms benefit another in some way so killing the mosquitos would not only effect the spider population, but whatever species relies on the spiders for food as well. It would be smart to limit the number of mosquitos instead of destroying it.

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  5. I hate mosquitoes or spiders but I don’t think we should wipe them out. This is a tough question to answer because it requires you to choose between human lives and environmental balance.

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  6. I think it would benefit to weigh out the pros and cons. In comparison to another important insect such as the bee, does the mosquito provide something of such importance (like pollination) for the human race that would disrupt OUR way of life if it were to be eliminated? The mosquito IS food for many other animals, but I also think over time there could be adaptation to sustainability from other food sources.

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  7. I believe if it came between the choices of human lives and mosquitoes I would easily choose human lives. I believe human lives have way more significance than mosquitoes.

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  8. I think we should leave the mosquitos alone and let them play their role in nature. If the diseases mosquitos carry is what worries scientists and environmentist, then we should develop a medicine that prevents people from catching these diseases when bitten.

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  9. First and foremost, Im shook. Everyone is just trying to live, humans and the insecti ! But I’m sure mosquitos would choose themselves, so I would choose us.

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  10. I personally think we should leave them alone as eliminating the mosquito population would cause many insects to have to find something else to eat. This would cause an extinction in the ecosytem leading to less food in the environment. I don’t like them, but it’s best it stays like it is.
    https://goo.gl/images/LV7Fc4

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  11. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature

    Insects regardless of how we humans feel about them are vital to the long term survival on this planet. We are already digging our own grave quite literally. Wiping out even a specific type of mosquitoes has widespread and unforseen consequences. A more effective method of dealing with malaria is tranferring much needed healthcare resources to the third world.

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  12. If humans were to genetically modify other mosquitos to “do our bidding”, couldn’t that also cause stronger mutated mosquitos to occur? It may open us up to even more sicknesses and new species. The environmental balance would probably break.

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  13. I myself don’t like the idea of wiping out an entire population of pesky bugs just for the betterment of humans. As hard as it is for some people to understand, humans aren’t the only creatures on the planet, so we should try to extend our longevity while balancing out the effects on other species and their environments.
    I think our efforts would be better spent searching for a way to prevent malaria that has a higher efficacy than the RTS,S vaccine.

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  14. There are potential problems with both. While I definitely think human lives take precedence over everything else, I think there’s an element of danger when we start killing off species, especially mosquitoes where so many other animals rely on them for food. However, in saying that, I personally believe the reward of potentially saving hundreds of thousands of lives far outweighs the risk of killing off the mosquito population.

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  15. I believe that Noah should have swatted the mosquitos on the ark in the first place. But in all seriousness, kill them all. Human lives are worth more than the existence of mosquitos. When it comes to the food chain, I am not sure how much mosquitos would take away from the world, but we could always test it on a less populated island before spreading it everywhere. Personally, I believe it’s worth the risk to remove mosquitos from earth altogether. (Also, I’m highly allergic, so I might be a tad biased.)

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  16. I feel like what we should do is find a way to kill the disease out of the mosquitoes so they no longer spread it. No matter how annoying they are to humans, they are put here for a reason and they are important to nature. Personally, if there was no backlash or harm to nature, I’d love to fight back the pests that love to eat me alive.

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    1. Yes I completely agree with you 100%!! Find a way to get rid of this disease, they obviously are good for something but they need to stay away from innocent people. Change the DNA so they can’t take the human blood!

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  17. i think we should take the mosquitos out. especially the ones in mississippi. all these other animals that eat mosquitos also eat other things so they will be fine. i believe everything would be better without them.

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  18. I believe that we should leave the mosquitoes alone we don’t know what type of butterfly effect this might have on population control, how many species will die cause from this?

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    1. I agree with you on this that we don’t know everything that would occur if we do this. Just because we solve one vehicle for malaria doesn’t mean we’d eliminate all of them.

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  19. I think there will always be some type of disease that will come back and affect the population of humans, so spending time to try and figure out a way to eliminate mosquitos is kindof pointless. However, Malaria has become a huge issue and should be eliminated because humans are a more dominant species than insects; therefore, sustaining life and having a bigger impact on Earth than mosquitos.

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  20. I think we need more info about “upsetting the environmental balance” before we can actually conclude what’s best. If there is a true an epic need for them then we need to be more educated about the good of mosquito. Otherwise eliminating the mosquito seems to be a huge life saving component being that some thousands of people are afflicted from diseases carried by them and die from these diseases each year.

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    1. I completely agree, we do need to educate ourselves. If there is not any major impact that will happen to the environment we should eliminate these mosquitoes.

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  21. Quote from public health entomologist Grayson Brown:

    “If mosquitoes went extinct: Mosquito larvae are very important in aquatic ecology. Many other insects and small fish feed on them and the loss of that food source would cause their numbers to decline as well. Anything that feeds on them, such as game fish, raptorial birds, etc. would in turn suffer too. Mosquitoes can be wiped out but the ecological damage that would be necessary (draining swamps/wetlands, applying pesticides over wide areas), along with strict regulatory enforcement, would make eradication not worth it unless there was a very serious public health emergency.”

    So according to this article, I think the consensus is that we would only need to do rid ourselves of mosquitoes if they caused a deadly global epidemic or something equally catastrophic.

    More here: https://io9.gizmodo.com/what-if-every-mosquito-on-earth-went-extinct-tomorrow-1646840383

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    1. I agree with you here. The impact of ending the population would have a huge effect not only on the animals that it directly effects but eventually it would affect the human population as well. Instead of killing off the mosquitos perhaps we should come up with a way to eradiacate viruses like malaria, the Zika virus, and whatever else they spread.

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  22. I wouldn’t say to wipeout the entire species of mosquitoes, but to regulate the population by eliminating half of the population. If you wipeout the entire species then everything in our environment will be off, but halting the population size of it will make it perfectly balanced.

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  23. If we kill the mosquito, I would not care if it upsets the environmental balance. I hate spiders. The more spiders that are killed, the more my fear of spiders will die. They have other sources of food anyways,

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  24. Although mosquitoes can be extremely harmful towards humans, you also have to take in consideration to other animals such as birds that sometimes eat mosquitoes for nutrients.

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  25. Really disappointing that we put in all that effort into planting the ajuga, but I do understand how invasive species could take over.

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  26. Why should we wipe out mosquitoes. We should let nature do as is because we should not control what species lives and dies. Nature does that already.

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  27. I don’t think that we should wipe out mosquitoes. There are consequences to the ecosystem that people aren’t thinking about when talking about this subject.

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  28. It’s hard to say one way or another but I would have to say do not kill the mosquito it could seriously devastate the environment

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