Jump to content

Welcome to FutureTimeline.forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. If you already have an account, login here - otherwise create an account for free today!
Photo

Mosquitos


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#21
tygrus

tygrus

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 161 posts

The trouble with draining swamps and other wet areas is thats where a multitude of other species still live that we need like frogs.

 

Personally I favor saving babies over mosquitoes.

 

This guy s thinking the same thing as me;

 

It's time to kill all the mosquitos


  • GForest likes this

#22
peaterlanster

peaterlanster

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 128 posts

um why exactly do we need frogs just wondring



#23
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

um why exactly do we need frogs just wondring

...because it is not a good idea to start taking out links in the ecosystem.  Species die off should be a warning that we may be next.  If we can't keep the frogs alive, then there is no guarantee that in the future we will be able to keep human beings alive.  We simply can't live on a planet with just humans and no other species alive.  Even humans and a limited number of other species such as chicken and fish would be a rather sterile existence. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#24
GForest

GForest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

Don't forget about sandflies, guys. According to pestcontrolhacks they seem to be even more harmful than mosquitos because it's bite may not only cause itch, allergy and various diseases but also infect blood with various parasites, which I find more horrible.



#25
BlazingRocket

BlazingRocket

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 41 posts

With rising temperatures meaning that their range(and the range of the diseases they carry) will increase every decade, it is more important now than ever to suppress mosquitoes. Eradicating them might be a mistake though, who knows what effect it will have on bats and dragonflies and the rest of the food web. Only time will tell when we get there, I guess.

Rather than eradicating them in nature, perhaps in the far future we can have nanotechnology, computer, and laser technology developed so well that we can have trillions of nanobots patrol people's homes and the airspace above cities. These nanobots can vaporize any pest that makes it into cities (mosquito or not) with a small but controlled laser beam, thus making human settlements mosquito-free but making mosquitos still plentiful in the wild.



#26
Alislaws

Alislaws

    Democratic Socialist Materialist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,051 posts
  • LocationLondon

Don't forget about sandflies, guys. According to pestcontrolhacks they seem to be even more harmful than mosquitos because it's bite may not only cause itch, allergy and various diseases but also infect blood with various parasites, which I find more horrible.

Um... Malaria is a parasite that comes from mosquito bites and In 2015, there were roughly 212 million malaria cases and an estimated 429 000 malaria deaths. (cant find more recent stats after a quick google, hopefully the death toll is significantly less for 2018) 

 

So I'm pretty​ sure mosquitos are worse than Sandflies?

 

Only a handful of mosquito species carry diseases that can affect humans. we just need to extinctify the ones that can hurt us and replace them in their ecological niche with the ones that make us itchy at worst.

 

Maybe we can adapt them to be unable to carry the diseases that affect us, or maybe we'd need to adapt other species of mosquito to outcompete them in their home environment, although this risks ending up with super mosquito swarms draining people to death in a horrible nightmare scenario if we accidentally improve the harmless competitor species too much. 

 

*Goes to write proposal for mosquito based sci-fi B-movie about the dangers of playing god for pitching to whoever makes those sharknado films*



#27
GForest

GForest

    New Member

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 3 posts

 

With rising temperatures meaning that their range(and the range of the diseases they carry) will increase every decade, it is more important now than ever to suppress mosquitoes. Eradicating them might be a mistake though, who knows what effect it will have on bats and dragonflies and the rest of the food web. Only time will tell when we get there, I guess.

Rather than eradicating them in nature, perhaps in the far future we can have nanotechnology, computer, and laser technology developed so well that we can have trillions of nanobots patrol people's homes and the airspace above cities. These nanobots can vaporize any pest that makes it into cities (mosquito or not) with a small but controlled laser beam, thus making human settlements mosquito-free but making mosquitos still plentiful in the wild.

 

That's quite big "perhaps". We don't send people to the Moon and further, we still don't have flying cars, so no nanobots for you us in the next 50 years for sure.


  • BlazingRocket likes this

#28
Alislaws

Alislaws

    Democratic Socialist Materialist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,051 posts
  • LocationLondon

The best solution would be to make small flying insect size robots that attack mosquitos in tiny aerial dogfights (possibly with lasers?). Ideally they should be made to look like either tiny WW2 aircraft, or some kind of sc-fi insect (if we need to mimic insects for efficiency) 

 

This would be much more entertaining to watch than invisibly small nanobots. 

 

Also they should be able to catch spiders and transport them outside (as this is the correct way to deal with spiders*). They might need to team up if they are small and the spider is big. This would be even more entertaining. (until one drops a spider on you by mistake)

 

*Killing spiders results in bits of spidercorpse lying around your home. Also it is mean. 


  • GForest likes this

#29
BlazingRocket

BlazingRocket

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 41 posts

 

 

With rising temperatures meaning that their range(and the range of the diseases they carry) will increase every decade, it is more important now than ever to suppress mosquitoes. Eradicating them might be a mistake though, who knows what effect it will have on bats and dragonflies and the rest of the food web. Only time will tell when we get there, I guess.

Rather than eradicating them in nature, perhaps in the far future we can have nanotechnology, computer, and laser technology developed so well that we can have trillions of nanobots patrol people's homes and the airspace above cities. These nanobots can vaporize any pest that makes it into cities (mosquito or not) with a small but controlled laser beam, thus making human settlements mosquito-free but making mosquitos still plentiful in the wild.

 

That's quite big "perhaps". We don't send people to the Moon and further, we still don't have flying cars, so no nanobots for you us in the next 50 years for sure.

 

Haha, that's quite true. Mosquito-free cities will not be a real thing for at least several decades :(. But still, it would be interesting if this did come true and future generations would ask their grandparents what mosquito bites are like (just like millenials may ask their parents what it was like to use paper maps)


  • GForest likes this

#30
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

Human Diet Drugs May Discourage Mosquitoes From Biting

 

https://www.courthou...-of-mosquitoes/

 

 

(Courthouse News) – Researchers are hopeful they can lessen the spread of mosquito-borne diseases after identifying drugs that reduce the insect’s hunger for blood, according to a study released Thursday in the journal Cell.

 

Female mosquitoes are to blame for passing infections between humans as the males do not consume blood. After feeding on human blood, this nuisance with wings will lose her appetite for several days before going on the hunt again to nourish eggs of the next generation. Researchers are now working with drug compounds that act on the hormone pathways that signal to a female mosquito that she’s full.

 

…While this is a positive breakthrough, scientists say more work must be done before the compound can be developed for mosquito control. Researchers need to further understand the basic biology of the receptor, how best to exploit it and then how to get mosquitoes to ingest the drug. One idea is a feeder that would attract the females to come and drink the drug rather than drinking blood.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#31
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

Genome scientists develop novel approaches to studying widespread form of malaria

 

(Phys.org) Scientists at the Institute of Genome Sciences (IGS) at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) have developed a novel way with genome sequences to study and better understand transmission, treat and ultimately eradicate Plasmodium vivax, the most widespread form of malaria. P. vivax is a single-celled transmitted by mosquitoes. It is the most widespread human malaria parasite, responsible for more than 8.5 million clinical malaria cases worldwide and threatening more than two billion people in 90 countries.


Read more at: https://phys.org/new...alaria.html#jCp

malaria.jpg

Credit: CC0 Public Domain


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#32
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

I know this thread is specifically about mosquitos.  In regards to said pests, I am pretty much an agnostic about wiping them out.  If that is what it takes to stop malaria, fine with me.  If other methods for stopping malaria are developed, that is also fine.  

 

Coming across the story linked below reminds me that other insects are highly beneficial to our species. SInce we don't have a Future of Insects thread (at least one that I know of) I thought I would put this article here instead.

 

Global insect collapse ‘catastrophic for the survival of mankind’

 

Introduction:

(Think Progress) The global insect population outweighs all of humanity by a margin of 17 to 1, but humans are on track to wipe insects out in a matter of decades, according to the first worldwide review of insect decline.

 

This would be doubly catastrophic. First, losing the insects means losing the animals that feed on them, thus shattering the entire ecosystem. Second, losing the insects — which pollinate plants and keep the soil healthy — would devastate agriculture and our ability to feed a rapidly growing population.

 

“Unless we change our way of producing food, insects as a whole will go down the path of extinction in a few decades,” the alarming new study in the journal Biological Conservation warns.

 

The Australian researchers reviewed 73 historical reports of insect decline worldwide to understand the underlying drivers. They found “dramatic rates of decline that may lead to the extinction of 40 percent of the world’s insect species over the next few decades.”

 

The cause? Human-driven habitat loss, pollution, and climate change.


  • Alislaws likes this

The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#33
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

Dengue fever outbreak hits Latin America and Caribbean region

 

https://medicalxpres...in-america.html

 

Introduction:

 

(Medical Xpress) The Pan American Health Organization is warning against a deadly spike in dengue fever in Latin America and the Caribbean, and is calling on communities to eliminate mosquito breeding sites to combat the virus.

 

After two years of relatively few incidences, the region is experiencing a new epidemic cycle of the disease, with children under the age of 15 being most at risk, said Dr. Marcos Espinal, the director of PAHO's department of communicable diseases and environmental determinants of health.

 

In Guatemala, children represent 52% of total cases of severe dengue, while in Honduras they constitute 66% of all confirmed deaths, according to PAHO's epidemiological update.

 

Since the beginning of the year, more than 2 million individuals in the region have contracted the mosquito-borne disease and 723 have already died from it, PAHO said. While it attributes the high number of cases to the climate, environmental management and the mosquito's capacity to adapt, children's vulnerability may be due to their lack of immunity, PAHO said.

 

The 10 countries most affected by dengue, in terms of new cases per 100,000 inhabitants, are Nicaragua, Brazil, Honduras, Belize, Colombia, El Salvador, Paraguay, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela. Honduras and Nicaragua have already declared national-level epidemiological alerts this year to expedite the response, PAHO said.

dengue.jpg

Credit: CCO Public Domain


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#34
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

Mosquitoes might be humanity’s greatest foe. Should we get rid of them?

 

https://www.vox.com/...ype-zika-dengue

 

Introduction:

 

(Vox) The deadliest killer in human history might not be guns or bombs, cancer or car accidents. It’s a pesky insect that most of us don’t think twice about: the mosquito.

 

Over the course of 200,000 years, 108 billion people have lived on Earth. And nearly half, 52 billion, have been killed by mosquitoes. The impact of this disastrous insect has shaped civilization far beyond our expectations, according to historian Timothy C. Winegard, whose new book, The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator, explores this lethal insect.

 

Since the dinosaur era, the incredibly resilient mosquito has been a carrier of malaria, yellow fever, Zika, and a slew of other diseases that have ravaged human populations, with people in Africa bearing the greatest tolls. In The Mosquito, Winegard’s fifth book, he explores not only the disastrous consequences of mosquitoes on a biological level but also the insects’ social impact, including how they have affected GDP by taking millions of people out of the workforce and steered the course of history when used as a biological weapon in wartime.  (See linked article for extended interview with Winegard).

 

Here is a book review published in Nature of Winegard's book:

 

https://www.nature.c...586-019-02418-6


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#35
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

Malaria mosquitoes go with the flow

 

https://www.nature.c...586-019-02880-2

 

Introduction:

 

(Nature) During the long dry season in the semi-desert region of Africa known as the Sahel, malaria transmission ceases because the mosquitoes that can transmit the disease (termed malaria mosquitoes or vectors) disappear, along with the surface water required for the development of the next generation of mosquitoes. Yet with the first rains that end the dry season, adult numbers surge more quickly than can be explained by resumed breeding in newly rain-filled sites. Evidence to explain this adult population boom has remained elusive for decades. Writing in Nature, Huestis et al. report high-altitude sampling of malaria vectors in the Sahel, which revealed data consistent with long-range wind-borne migration of mosquitoes.

 

Insect flight typically occurs close to the ground, in a habitat patch that provides all of the insect’s essential resources such as food, shelter, mates and breeding sites. Among malaria vectors, this type of foraging flight rarely exceeds a distance of five kilometres. By contrast, during long-distance migration, insects ascend to altitudes as high as 2–3 km, where fast air currents transport them downwind for hundreds of kilometres in a few hours. This behaviour is beneficial for insects moving in seasonally favourable directions.

 

Conclusion:

 

 

If it is confirmed that there are wind-borne mosquitoes infected with the malaria-causing parasite, the implications of this would include the possibility of the reintroduction of disease into places where malaria has been previously eliminated, as well as the potential for the long-distance spread of drug-resistant parasites. Wind-borne malaria vectors, whether or not they are infected with parasites, could also profoundly affect the success of vector-control efforts. For example, migration could foster the long-distance spread of insecticide-resistant mosquitoes, worsening an already dire situation, given the current spread of insecticide resistance in mosquito populations. This would be a matter of great concern because insecticides are the best means of malaria control currently available. However, long-distance migration could facilitate the desirable spread of mosquitoes for gene-based methods of malaria-vector control. One thing is certain, Huestis and colleagues have permanently transformed our understanding of African malaria vectors and what it will take to conquer malaria.

 

d41586-019-02880-2_17216892.jpg


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#36
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

Malaria cases are falling worldwide

 

https://www.nature.c...586-019-03746-3

 

Introduction:

 

(Nature) The number of malaria infections recorded globally has fallen for the first time in several years, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which published its annual World Malaria Report on 4 December.

 

Rising numbers of cases in 2016 and 2017 sparked fears that progress had stalled in the global fight against the mosquito-borne disease. But the WHO estimates that there were 228 million reported cases in 2018, a decrease of around 3 million from the previous year.

 

This drop can be attributed in large part to fewer cases in southeast Asia (see ‘Malaria in southeast Asia’). The WHO found that, in the past decade, the most marked decline has been in six countries across the Mekong River basin — Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

 

From 2010 to 2018, malaria cases dropped by 76% in these countries, and malaria-related deaths fell by 95%. In 2018, Cambodia reported zero malaria-related deaths for the first time in the country’s history. India also reported a huge reduction in infections, with 2.6 million fewer cases in 2018 than in 2017.

 

Researchers warn that data on malaria can be inaccurate in countries with poor surveillance systems. Even if the number of officially reported deaths is zero, this doesn’t mean that there are no malaria-related casualties, says Arjen Dondorp, deputy director of the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok. However, “malaria cases are definitely going down” in countries such as Cambodia, he adds.


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls


#37
caltrek

caltrek

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 10,058 posts

On the first page of this thread, comments were made about the use of CRISPR to wipe out mosquitoes.  Below  is a link to an interesting article about that solution.  It is of medium length ( I used Word to come up with a count of 1,425 words) with the focus on mosquitoes in the early part of the article.  Much of the rest of the article discusses CRISPR and the difficulty of anticipating unknown unknowns. That is, of identifying ecological impacts of doing something like wiping out a particular species using CRISPR.  

 

Gene Drives: Assessing the Benefits & Risks

 

https://futureoflife.org/gene-drives-assessing-the-benefits-risks/

 

 

Extract:

 

(Future of Life Institute) Most people seem to understand that malaria is a pressing problem, one that continues to menace a number of areas around the world. However, most would likely be shocked to learn the true scale of the tragedy. To illustrate this point, in 2017, more than 200 million people were diagnosed with malaria. By the year’s close, nearly half a million people had died of the disease. And these are the statistics for just one year. Over the course of the 20th century, researchers estimate that malaria claimed somewhere

 

between 150 million and 300 million lives. With even the lowest figure, the death toll is still more than World War I, World War II, the Vietnam War, and the Korean War combined.

 

…In September of 2018…scientists at the Imperial College London published a paper announcing that one of their CRISPR gene drives had wiped out an entire population of lab-bred mosquitoes in less than 11 generations. If this approach were released into the wild, the team predicted that it could propel the affected species into extinction in just one year. 

 

…There is still some technical work  to be done before this particular CRISPR gene drive can be deployed in the wild. For starters, the team needs to verify that it is, in fact, resistant-proof. The results also have to be replicated in the same conditions in which  Anopheles mosquitoes are typically found–conditions that mimic tropical locations across sub-Saharan Africa. Yet the researchers are making rapid progress, and a CRISPR gene drive that can end malaria may soon be a reality.

 

…“What concerns me is that a lot of the gene drive developers are not ecologists. My understanding is that they have very little training, or even zero training, when it comes to environmental interactions, environmental science, and ecology,” (Todd) Kuiken says. “So, you have people developing systems that are being deliberately designed to be introduced to an environment or an ecosystem who don’t have the background to understand what all those ecological interactions might be.” 

 

Researchers can’t possibly account for how every single species — all the countless plants, insects, and as yet undiscovered deep sea creatures — will be impacted by a change we make to an organism. So unless we develop unique and unprecedented scientific protocols, no matter how much research we do, the decision to use or not use CRISPR gene drives will have to be made without all the evidence. 


The principles of justice define an appropriate path between dogmatism and intolerance on the one side, and a reductionism which regards religion and morality as mere preferences on the other.   - John Rawls





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users