It’s Not Good To Mess With Mother Nature

Over the years, men have done things in the rhealm of nature that have not exactly worked out as they planned. The Marine Mammals Protection Act of 1972 resulted in a dramatice increase of the seal population off off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. That was a nice gesture to save the seals, but it resulted in an influx of great white sharks in the area because of the increased food supply for the sharks. There is also the example of kudzu, which was introduced to Americans during the Philadelphia Centennial Exposition in 1876 where it was touted as a great ornamental plant for its sweet-smelling blooms and sturdy vines. From the 1930’s to the 1950’s the Soil Conservation Service promoted it as a great tool for soil erosion control and planting it was encouraged throughout the south. Kudzu is now recognized as an invasive plant and has killed multiple trees throughout the southern United States. Gypsy moths came from a scientist in Massachusetts who was trying to breed a more hearty breed of silkworm to create silk for America. A few escaped and have the resulting moths have now gone as far south as New Jersey.  It’s not good to mess with mother nature.

On Wednesday,The Daily Caller reported the following:

Field biologists discovered an 18-foot invasive Burmese python weighing 215 pounds in the Florida Everglades.

Researchers from the Conservancy of Southwest Florida believed their scale was broken when they weighed the beast, as none of them could comprehend a Burmese python would ever grow so huge, National Geographic reported Tuesday. The snake, the largest ever discovered in Florida, was captured using a male scout snake with a GPS tracker attached to it, the outlet continued. Burmese pythons are effectively impossible to spot without scout snakes, according to BroBible.

The article explains that these snakes are not native to Florida. The snakes were probably introduced by pet owners whose pets excaped or who let their pets loose because they got too big. It is frightening to me that they found deer hoof cores inside the animal. Please follow the link to read the entire article for further details.

Playing With Fire

On Thursday, Hot Air posted an article about genetically modified mosquitoes in Florida. Yes, you read that right.

The article reports:

…But now there’s a new type of mosquito hanging out in the Florida Keys. It’s one that’s never been seen before because scientists genetically modified the species in an effort to use them in a genocidal war against their own kin. Thus far, the scientists seem to be declaring the experiment a success. But that sort of ignores the fact that there are now five million genetically modified super-mosquitoes roaming around Florida. (Nature Journal)

Researchers have completed the first open-air study of genetically engineered mosquitoes in the United States. The results, according to the biotechnology firm running the experiment, are positive. But larger tests are still needed to determine whether the insects can achieve the ultimate goal of suppressing a wild population of potentially virus-carrying mosquitoes.

The experiment has been underway since April 2021 in the Florida Keys, a chain of tropical islands near the southern tip of Florida. Oxitec, which developed the insects, released nearly five million engineered Aedes aegypti mosquitoes over the course of seven months, and has now almost completed monitoring the release sites.

Based in Abingdon, UK, the firm reported the first results from the experiment during a webinar on 6 April, although it has not yet published the data.

The article explains how the modification is supposed to work:

Okay, so let’s see how this is supposed to work, shall we? This British company, Oxitec, genetically engineered some of the A. aegypti mosquito (also known as the Yellow Fever Mosquito) so that the males inherited a particular new gene. When the males fertilize the eggs of females, the offspring inherit the gene. The gene has no effect on the male offspring but it causes a destructive mutation in all of the female offspring, leading them to die before they can reproduce. In theory, they would begin drastically reducing the population of female mosquitoes until there were so few mating options for the males that the population should shrink drastically.

I don’t want to be anti-science here, but this scares me to death. I realize that scientists know a lot about genetics, but I think they are in dangerous territory here.

As reported by gypsy moth alert:

The gypsy moth was brought to North America from France by Mr. E. Leopold Trouvelot. His purpose was to breed hybrid silkworms that would be hardier than the Chinese species and that could be used to establish a silk industry in the United States. By 1865 he had a million caterpillars feeding under protective netting at his home in Medford Massachussets. In 1869 some of them escaped and were apparently scattered by a windstorm.

Gypsy moths have now spread into most of New England, down the east coast to Virginia, to Michigan and Wisconsin, and to Oregon. They have done tremendous damage to trees in those areas. I am hoping that the genetically modified mosquitoes will at least stay in Florida, but I doubt it.