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Genetically Modifying an Entire Ecosystem

Soulskill posted about 2 months ago | from the evolve-big-or-evolve-home dept.

Biotech 52

New submitter structural_biologist writes: Genes normally have a 50-50 chance of being passed from parent to offspring, but scientists may have figured out a way to create genes that show up in offspring with a much higher frequency. "One type of gene drive influences inheritance by copying itself onto chromosomes that previously lacked it. When an organism inherits such a gene drive from only one parent, it makes a cut in the chromosome from the other parent, forcing the cell to copy the inheritance-biasing gene drive—and any adjacent genes—when it repairs the damage." When introduced into the wild, organisms containing gene drives would breed with the population, quickly spreading the modified genes throughout the ecosystem. While the technology could help prevent the spread of malaria and manage invasive species, many scientists worry about the wide-ranging effects of such a technology and are calling for its regulation.

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Pandora's box (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490479)

Do not open it.

Re: Pandora's box (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490547)

We just wanted to make raptors safer to be in a zoo

Re:Pandora's box (4, Insightful)

Todd Palin (1402501) | about 2 months ago | (#47490647)

What could possibly go wrong?

Re: Pandora's box (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490681)

How long do you resist short-term profits for long-term risk?

Re: Pandora's box (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47491063)

How long do you resist short-term profits for long-term risk?

Well, um, how are things looking for this quarter's earnings call?

Re: Pandora's box (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 2 months ago | (#47491727)

Who waits for the earnings call?

What can you put out in a press release to pump the stock up tomorrow!

Re: Pandora's box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47498501)

Eliminating malaria is not exactly a short-term profit. That's like ending all wars forever, times ten. I'm not kidding, the numbers are widely available.

Re:Pandora's box (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47490957)

Since it released hope, please, please open the box*.

*technically it was a jar, mythological speaking.

Re:Pandora's box (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47491073)

If memory serves, Pandora's box was pretty similar to most software development: Release #1 unleashed hitherto unknown evils upon the world. Release #2 implemented hope. No additional releases have been forthcoming. We would not have needed release #2 had it not been opened the first time.

Re:Pandora's box (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47498399)

Since it released hope, please, please open the box*.

"Hope and Change" was released 6 years ago, and pretty much all we've seen since have been the evils.

Re: Pandora's box (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491005)

Not gonna open it, just gonna take a quick peek...

One man's Pandora's box is Monsanto's Profit Bin (0)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 2 months ago | (#47491029)

One Man's Pandora's Box is one Monsanto's Profit Bin.
Calling for regulation is like calling for socialism.
Didn't we live in a laissez-faire world?

Re:One man's Pandora's box is Monsanto's Profit Bi (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47493961)

I agree. Genetically modifying the entire ecosystem starts with lawn mowing, and killing all native vegetation and biodiversity previously present in it. Then into this mowed and weed killed and pesticide and insecticide filled "green desert" you call a "pretty lawn" with your fucking corporate brainwashed distorted sense of beauty, we can realease all purely genetically modified, and 0wned by Da Man himself organisms, as a new fashion, new vogue, in a bandwagon that everyone jumps onto like they jump unto smartphones, fashion designer designed genetically modified plants on your front lawn that look exactly like your ex-weeds you used to cut down so vehemently, these new fashionable but "pretty" lawn "weeds" that you can rent for a monthly fee sucking the very last cents out of your bank account, plus one cent, and the crimes you commit and rules and laws you break to get that extra cent will prove that you're just a filthy little thief no better than Da Man. Fuck Monsanto. If there is anything ever representing the excesses of private property, and the devastation it unleashes unto the world, it's embodied in everything Monsanto does, starting with genetically modifying things to own every biological thing in the world to promoting spraying the whole world down with pesticides and insecticides, in the name of private property, quarterly profit, and bottom line. And even without intellectual property, it is possible to create seeds that you can't save seeds from next harvest, because they are sterile, so once every lifeform is "sterilized," (this includes tigers and you yourself), the only way to create new life will be to purchase a permit from Da Man, and he will give you a seed that can create new life, but whose seeds are also sterile. Holding a reserve of seeds that are not sterile in future generations will be illegal or at least get you killed by the maffiozos, and this includes having humans that are not sterile from birth, but actually able to reproduce, instead of having to apply for a permit at some hospital, receiving a sperm and egg packet in the mail, and having babies like that, with optional black or white or blue or green or orange tint on their skins, and eye irises the colors of the rainbow. The miracles of science and biotechnology coming your way, directly from Monsanto.

Re:One man's Pandora's box is Monsanto's Profit Bi (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47497725)

They should ban and make illegal any biotech seed that's not fertile the next year. If Monsanto ever goes out of business after they converted the whole world to become dependent on their roundup ready but nonfertile, sterile seeds, there'd be a major collapse in the biosphere, a major extinction event, dependent on a corporation going out of business. That is insane. It's like Microsoft requiring all operating systems to be activated after install to function starting with XP, disregarding the scenario of if they ever go out of business, as they don't give a crap what happens after they are dead as a company, as self interest is their only motivator, not in balance with the protection of other life or the other people. That is not in accordance with the ways of God. God is externalized ego, to get rid of the tendency to deify the self. Monsanto and Microsoft are arrogant in self assertion and profit mongering out of balance with the public good. Any company who becomes a monopoly, a standard, and does not give a crap about what happens to everyone when they die, should be regulated by lawmakers. How is your product going to keep functioning when you made so many people dependent on it and derived great profit from it, when you die as a business? Every business dies, even if the name may live on, it's not the same business, the name living on is just a mere artifact. Very few make it a few hundred years as a stable business, and most are dead in under 100. Recent deaths are Kodak, Oldsmobile, Lehman Bros, etc. You have to care about more than just the self interest if you make so make so many dependent on you. I know pure altruism and communism doesn't work either, it's not practical with real life people, but neither is pure capitalism, or pure every living thing is private property and every thought and word uttered is private property in an aristocrat-nobility owners owning all life and all thought vs. commoner tenants and wage slaves world, else we would not have had all those peasant rebellions for millenia through history. People forget to keep that in mind. Yin Yang balance and moderation is what works, but you shouldn't have to spell it out and explain that to people with common sense.

Is there a similar system in humans? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490481)

"The so-called “CRISPR” system naturally protects bacteria from viruses by storing fragments of viral DNA sequence and cutting any sequences that exactly match the fragment. "

This makes me think of all the confusing HIV data.

Re:Is there a similar system in humans? (2)

Ken_g6 (775014) | about 2 months ago | (#47490623)

"It has been suggested that CRISPR interference systems in prokaryotes are analogous to eukaryotic RNA interference [] systems, although none of the protein components are orthologous.[58] [] "

Silly orthography (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490597)

"Derive" or "derived" in place of "drive"? Editor?

Re:Silly orthography (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490605)

What do you mean by "editor"? You're on slashdot.

Re:Silly orthography (1)

structural_biologist (1122693) | about 2 months ago | (#47490627)

The selfish genetic elements used in this technology are called "gene drives" because they drive their own inheritance through a population. I probably did not make that clear enough in the summary.

Re:Silly orthography (1)

Rei (128717) | about 2 months ago | (#47490811)

They make this sound new, but I read about this something like a decade ago. Not with CRISPR, but with "selfish genes" in general. It was proposed, as an example, to wipe out mosquitoes - or at least, one mosquito species that causes a large chunk of malaria cases but is not a major food or pollination source anywhere that it exists in the wild. They would simultaneously introduce into many parts of the population (trying to leave no breeding-isolated islands) mosquitoes bearing a selfish, recessive, lethal allele. They would spread throughout the population thanks to their gaming the laws of natural selection, without having any practial harm until it's spread throughout almost the whole population. Suddenly the population can no longer produce viable offspring, and after several generations, the species dies off.

One example of such a gene in nature was given - if I remember right, it was spotted in weevils. It causes the mothers to produce a chemical in the eggs that kills any young that don't also have the gene (aka, it codes for both a poison and its antidote). So if one parent has the gene, the only viable eggs that they get will also have the gene. It's clearly harmful - it kills off half the eggs if one of the parents has it and the other doesn't, and was detrimental in general - but like a parasite, the gene is only "concerned" with its own survival.

Re:Silly orthography (1)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47492137)

This is a it more elegant and controlled, in that it basically just suppresses reversion back to wild type after a mutation has occurred. Nothing else, no need to crest a bazillion untargeted copies all over the place. The process of gene editing (not new) becomes cleaner, which is something greatly needed.

Oh yeah (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490603)

Sooner or later something using this is going to go viral. All we can hope is that it'll be relatively harmless or at least fixable in time. If we're really unlucky nuclear war will seem benign in comparison.

Need Or Can (2)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 2 months ago | (#47490641)

Without considering the potential need for regulation the first question is whether any effective regulations can be put in place. Getting all nations and perhaps all individuals to follow a rule or law is next to impossible. Can an individual make such a genetic alteration? How could we prevent that? Could it be weaponized by a lunatic government such as N. Korea?

Re:Need Or Can (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | about 2 months ago | (#47498423)

Recent (within several years) accidental releases from "secure" biological containment facilities, specifically involving [what many scientists say was extremely dangerous and unethical] experimentation on increasing the virulence of H5N1 flu virus, illustrates the inadequacy of genetic containment. They can't even keep the most "secure" labs secure, and we have learned that they do shit there they should never be allowed to attempt.

We already have not just proof but ubiquitous reports of GMO crops escaping their intended places. And somebody wants to make it EASIER for chosen genes to propagate?

I repeat what someone else said above, facetiously: "What could possibly go wrong?"

Until our state-of-the-art is a hell of a lot better than today, I don't say "regulate", I say ban outright.

"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490643)

To me that implied all species. Obviously that isn't the case.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47490777)

To me that implied all species. Obviously that isn't the case.

That's likely true and the journalists are being sloppy. At least the authors of TFA plan to use this to target a particular type of critter (eg an invasive species, a pathogen). The modified organisms could spread throughout an ecosystem, but not infect everything in sight.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47491131)

Gene flow can, and does, occur between species. Most common in bacteria, which appear bent on making up for not having developed sex through sheer promiscuity; but it has been known to happen even in much larger eukaryotic organisms(and viruses, of course, more or less are nothing but horizontal gene transfer wrapped in an elegant delivery system). When dealing with a hypothetical gene engineered to be extraordinarily heritable the odds probably don't improve of not spilling it somewhere unhelpful.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 2 months ago | (#47491183)

True, but again, it's highly regulated and there are defense mechanisms - all of which are incompletely understood. And I'm not so sure that this is a good idea as the mechanisms used to disseminate the genes to the target organisms are going to have to look rather virus like as it's unlikely you're going to try to catch every Cane Toad in the swamp to give them a shot.

And viruses have lots of ways of getting around defense mechanisms.


Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47492201)

the mechanisms used to disseminate the genes to the target organisms are going to have to look rather virus like as it's unlikely you're going to try to catch every Cane Toad in the swamp to give them a shot.

The entire point behind the method is to not have to do this. You make one genetically engineered organism that then breeds passing on the desired trait, only in such a way that inheritance is biased toward the desired trait so that it isn't lost by "dilution" into the gene pool.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47492187)

Yes, but the elegance (and limitation) of this system is that it requires sexual reproduction to work. So if the two organisms don't inter-breed, the traits cannot be passed.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47492701)

The high-heritability hack only works on sexual reproduction; but horizontal gene transfer mechanisms do not.

The heritability hack wouldn't directly cause more horizontal transfers than usual; but it would ensure that the introduced gene spreads quickly through the target population(increasing the odds that a gene transfer event from that population will include the gene in question) and if it is successfully transferred, it will be more likely than usual (if the transfer target reproduces sexually) to spread into the new host species rather than dying with the individual who received the transfer, increasing the odds that a single gene transfer event would end in a population-level change, rather than just one genome that will be taking a dirt nap soon enough.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47493837)

Yes, but the CRISPR system can be designed to work precisely with a single species, because the targeting sequence can use non-homologous regions of genes that are similar between species. So in your horizontal gene transfer case it would die out after the transfer event into a new species. Another potential safeguard is to put the CRISPR system in a different locus from the mutation, so that horizontal gene transfer events would be very unlikely to transfer both functions into another species.

Re:"Entire Ecosystem" (1)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47492149)

Except they didn't say "entire ecosystem". They said "throughout the ecosystem," meaning engineered organism deliberately and purposefully breed with non-modified organisms thus creating a large-scale change in the ecosystem.

The beautiful part (1)

RDW (41497) | about 2 months ago | (#47490667)

Because CRISPR itself is so precise, we can envision a number of safeguards. Alterations can be reversed by releasing a new drive with an updated version of the change.

...and when wintertime rolls around, the gorillas simply freeze to death.

Re:The beautiful part (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47490699)

Sounds like it would be vulnerable to 0-day exploits.

Re:The beautiful part (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 2 months ago | (#47491145)

Hey, as long as 'responsible disclosure' requires that anyone developing novel pathogens or lethal recessive genes contact the vendor and give them time to implement a fix, only customers who fail to contract patches promptly will be vulnerable! What are you complaining about?

Horror Story (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | about 2 months ago | (#47490797)

This is the stuff of horror stories. Humans are not intelligent or smart enough to know how to do this. The consequences are immense and terrible.

Read No Blade of Grass / The Death of Grass for a not so fun treaties on this topic. [] []

Re:Horror Story (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47490997)

Shut up. I'm sick and tired of you Luddite's plaguing this web site, the internet and politics.

How about we use science and not port-apocalyptic fiction m'kay?

Now go back the the kiddie table while the adults talk. When you have something constructive and intellegent to say, feel free an come back.

Re:Horror Story (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47497455)

My, my but you do have anger issues, geekoid. I don't think you would know science if it bit you in the ass. It certainly doesn't know you.

Re:Horror Story (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about 2 months ago | (#47491085)

Is it? Maybe the precursor to Janus (Utopia TV series) or Inferno (Dan Brown)...

Utopia []

Re:Horror Story (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 months ago | (#47494065)

So what type of mathematical/scientific proof theorem covers "proof by fictional story"?

Science Fiction

Fiction: invention or fabrication as opposed to fact.

genese normally have (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47490937)

about 50-50 chance. that's kind of key.

Summary is terrible (4, Informative)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47491223)

Summary is an excerpt of an article highlighting some potential use of technology developed by George Church's lab at Harvard (and others). It is actually some pretty incredible stuff. Church's first published the adaption of the CRISPR system to gene editing in eukaryotes a few years ago. Basically, it works like this. CRISPR is a bacterial defense system where an enzyme (endonuclease) is directed to cut a specific DNA sequence by it's directly adjacent targeting sequence. Bacteria use this to protect themselves from viruses. When a virus tries to insert itself into the genome of a bacterium, CRISPR will cleave that sequence (if the bacterium has the appropriate targeting system) and subsequent DNA repair processes will occur that will excise the viral sequence. You can think of it as a pseudo-immunity system for bacteria against viruses. Like other DNA sequences, CRISPR sequences can be transferred between bacteria in a population allowing for broad-ranging resistance to viral infection to occur within a bacterial community.

The innovation by Church's group is to put the CRISPR system in eukaryotes. Introducing modified genes by homologous recombination has been around for a long time, but the problem with most eukaryotes is they have multiple copies of each chromosome. So a modification in one copy will get diluted out over several rounds of replication. By including the CRISPR system in the mutation that targets the original gene, a mechanism is supplied to allow a modified gene to quickly spread throughout the population. This makes genetic modification of eukaryotes much more efficient and easier to control.

Now, while safely applies in a laboratory system, the ecological consequences of using such a system in a natural setting are unclear. This is the purpose of the article: to raise some of the issues and possibilities to begin a discussion about how such a system might be used safely and what sort of regulations may need to be put into place. The article does quite a good job of illustrating some scenarios. Here is what I consider the meat of it, but of course other scenarios exist as well.

Why and how might we use gene drives to intervene in a particular ecosystem? Our earlier example is perhaps the most compelling: we might use gene drives to control malaria by altering Anopheles mosquitoes that transmit the disease. Anti-malarial medicines and insecticides are losing effectiveness due to evolving resistance, while a vaccine remains out of reach despite intense research and investment. Gene drives, in contrast, might spread genes conferring malaria resistance through the mosquito populations with few if any effects on other species. Alternatively, they might be able to reduce or even eliminate the mosquitoes for long enough to permanently eradicate the malaria parasite. Similar strategies could work for other organisms that spread disease.

Just want to put that out there so that a somewhat productive conversation can hopefully happen here.

Re:Summary is terrible (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47491457)

Just want to put that out there so that a somewhat productive conversation can hopefully happen here.

You must be new to slashdot.

Re:Summary is terrible (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47494099)

This kind of bullshit is why we need to put like a thousand Noah's Ark's into orbit, each with a rain forest zoo, in the form of a rotating steel cylinder space station, made from Moon mined materials. Pronto. So when everything gets fucked up on Earth from this biotech playing in a testtube - it's just an experiment, it's just scientific curiosity, we can contain it, it will never get unleashed from the lab into the Earth's environment - then at least you still have some sane life left on at least one of the thousand space stations, that did not make physical contact or get infected for a hundred years, if the incubation period for the disease is that long.

Re:Summary is terrible (1)

Rutulian (171771) | about 2 months ago | (#47494403)

Uh, this is not just scientific curiosity. There are some deep practical applications to such technology. Newsflash, malaria is still a big problem in the world and many other efforts to combat it are failing. If we can target the mosquito population I. Ways that don't involve copious amounts of DDT, or inhibit the ability of Mosquitos to act as a vector for the disease, we may make some significant inroads finally.

While the 12 Monkeys doomsday scenario is popular amongst techies, I don't think we should discount a useful tool just because of a possibility for misuse. The authors themselves recognize the need to use it responsibly and develop an appropriate regulatory framework. From the article,

Ecological changes caused by gene drives will be overwhelmingly due to the particular alteration and species, not by the CRISPR drive components. That means it doesn’t really make sense to ask whether we should use gene drives. Rather, we’ll need to ask whether it’s a good idea to consider driving this particular change through this particular population. While gene drives could tremendously benefit humans and the environment if used responsibly, the potentially accessible nature of the technology raises concerns about the risks of accidental effects or even intentional mismanagement. In a new paper published in Science, we specifically address the regulation and risk governance of gene drive applications to promote responsible use.

Re:Summary is terrible (1)

sillybilly (668960) | about 2 months ago | (#47497641)

I'm not saying we should stop the progress of science, there is of course two sides to every new technology, yin yang, the good side and the bad side - flying, nuclear power, lasers, robots, etc.. I'm saying safety first, cover your bases, and make sure you have a solution, and escape route for if the shit ever hits the fan. That's what vacuum isolated fully self sufficient space stations would be, a safeguard. Don't keep all your eggs in the same basket. Diversify your portfolio. Don't keep all life stuck on Earth, in case we fuck up Earth with terrible biotech designed diseases that eat up all DNA based lifeforms. Moderation would be welcome in the relentless drive and competition to more power more power more power, as in artificial intelligence, nuclear bombs or biotech capabilities. We kind of got over the Cold War nuclear arm's race, now the military is on a biotech quest to infect people that don't get sick, especially under Obamacare and health care money mongering directive, they have to send people to the hospital by force to showcase how our wonderful health care system works, and they will fashion-design diseases that get even those who don't get sick, etc, more power more power more deadly diseases coming at you from the lab as a weapon, til human error messes up and things get out of hand and we have a problem.

To add to: Summary is terrible (1)

DeathByLlama (2813725) | about 2 months ago | (#47502967)

Actually, the paper [] that this summary is referencing goes the opposite direction and talks about the 1) numerous studies that have already been performed to evaluate safety and 2) outline numerous more that will need to happen.

Fourth, our current knowledge of the risk management (5,11,36,37,95) and containment (35,38) issues associated with gene drives is largely due to the efforts of researchers focused on mosquito-borne illnesses. Frameworks for evaluating ecological consequences are similarly focused on mosquitoes (39) and the few other organisms for which alternative genetic biocontrol methods have been considered (96). While these examples provide an invaluable starting point for investigations of RNA-guided gene drives targeting other organisms, studies examining the particular drive, population, and associated ecosystem in question will be needed.

Go ahead and check out the references (and the rest of the paper) if you're genuinely interested in this topic. This is not mad science, nor is it Pandora's Box.

I' m reminded of Cat'sCradle (1)

louden obscure (766926) | about 2 months ago | (#47491885)

Ice-nine, my favorite example of not thinking things all the way through. That and the Army Corp of Engineers constant fucking with the Mississippi River.

Re:I' m reminded of Cat'sCradle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47497813)

Ice-nine, my favorite example of not thinking things all the way through. That and the Army Corp of Engineers constant fucking with the Mississippi River.

I agree. It sounds like a potential (inter?)planetary bioweapon. Give some country's farmers modified organisms that will make local plants have the same weakness but very good yields. 20 years later, you have them by the short-and-curly hairs. Yeah, Noble was mostly right about the military and civilian applications of technology. Of course, it apparently wasn't until after he sold the stuff that he realized making explosives safe to carry was going to be a boon to mass-murderers, legally-authorized (soldiers) or not (saboteurs).

Even without the direct martial implications, you have a kind of legal equivalent of an atom-bomb in patented seeds right now. Many countries are banning USA exports without some kind of screening for GMO's. Yay, it worked so well - produce a lot more food to sell - and no one wants to buy it. No freaking wonder labeling laws get curb-stomped every time someone tries to pass/enforce them. Only a fool plays with a known cheater and actually bets money. Playing by the rules is going to kill non-GM farming... Protected varieties already existed but they didn't give you the legal power to force someone to pay you for their own efforts if just one damn grain of pollen got into your field. The plant actually has to _look_ and _function_ like the protected variety's main selling point.

Nonsensical... (1)

ToddInSF (765534) | about 2 months ago | (#47495317)

We're already doing that.

Relatively little is understood about ecosystems, and what IS comprehended is the extreme complexity of ecosystems and the mystery of the vast unknowns of ecosystems.

For example; recently a bacteria inside a bacteria that lives inside an insect was discovered to share it's genetic material with the bacteria it resides inside. When something like this is a surprising, new discovery, how can we even begin to claim that we can predict, with any certainty or accuracy, what unusual and radical genetic changes we make to anything is going to have on any ecosystem ?

The reality is, we can not, and do not even have any kind of standardized way to trace, catalog, and monitor the dynamic interactions within and between ecosystems.

Hubris usually leads to disaster.

You white weenies here need to see actual malaria (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47498523)

Waaaa, maybe something might theoretically go wrong, so waaa, I don't like this, science is dangerous, waaaaa. And why should I worry about malaria anyway? So what if it kills more people than all wars, murders and traffic accidents, times ten. It's not gonna get into my mom's basement, so fuck everybody else, as long as I'm safe. I'll get on my high horse about how no risks are worth it to solve other people's (catastrophic) problems.
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