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Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 3, Interesting) 220

Then nothing is different.

Female mosquitoes aren't going to breed more because of this. Part of what makes mosquitoes so unpleasant is that their breeding mechanism is awkward and requires, for example, blood - our blood - to work. Finding a partner to breed with is the last of their worries.

As a result, what this boils down to is:

Status quo: virtually all females will breed with a regular mosquito, lifestyle unchanged.

Changed to: sizable numbers of females will breed with a GMO mosquito instead of a regular mosquito.

If plan works, enough females will go with the GMO, and breed shorter lifespan mosquitoes of their own, resulting in a (probably temporary, alas) reduction in the mosquito population. If the plan fails, either because the altered genes fail to do their job, or because females avoid the GMO mosquitoes somehow, NOTHING IS DIFFERENT.

What's the issue here? What can actually go wrong that's worse than the status quo? What scenario are you seeing that could happen as a result of this particular project? It's not like this is something out of a Michael Crichton novel. "We think we can reduce the mosquito population by releasing this RADIOACTIVE MOSQUITOS into the population! Their UNTESTED RANDOM GENETIC DIFFERENCES will render the entire population dead within the week! Also let's breed the mosquitos with FROGS just beforehand! Nothing could possibly go wrong!"

We know the generic differences. We know what we're releasing are otherwise regular mosquitos. This is not that terrible novel.

As someone who has good medical reasons to fear mosquito bites more than most, I sincerely hope this works. And I applaud them for trying.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 2) 220

by Rei (#48938615) Attached to: FDA Wants To Release Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida

My point was all about what happens when the mosquitos are not as infertile as planned.

If some offspring survive that means that they didn't get the gene to kill them for some reason. Aka, they're just like wild populations. So.....?

If chemical companies are going to dump something into my backyard, I will scream and shout just as loud

Your back yard is full of the intentional products of chemical companies. Here we're talking about the intentional products of genetic engineering. You're trying to change the situation by comparing waste products with intentional products.

You seem to claim that people should just trust experts. I claim that experts should attempt to inform the public better, thereby earning their trust...

Sorry, but Joe Blow GED is never going to become an expert on genetic engineering. Ever. Period. And the same goes for the vast majority of the public.

So, rabbits that got released in Australia are the top predator? The Pampas grass in California is the top predator? I can make a long list of invasive species that are not the top predator and still influenced their ecosystem a lot

.

Got any examples that aren't introduced species? We're talking about reducing or eliminating species within an ecosystem, not adding new ones from totally different ecosystem. And part of the reason rabbits were so uncontrolled in Australia anyway was because settlers had killed off almost all of the top predators. One could easily imagine that, for example, tasmanian tigers would have quite enjoyed a rabbit feast. Dingo numbers were also shaply culled in the areas with the highest rabbit populations.

Comment: Re:What could possibly go wrong? (Score 4, Insightful) 220

by Rei (#48938019) Attached to: FDA Wants To Release Millions of Genetically Modified Mosquitoes In Florida

That's because most physics and chemistry experiments don't breed and multiply.

Neither do infertile mosquitoes; your point?

They are talking about something that happens literally in their own backyard.

Really, you think there's no products of modern chemistry in your backyard?

They are right to do a risk assessment.

And there have been risk assessments done, by regulators, taking into account the scientific data. Risk assessments are not something for Joe Bloe and his GED who reads NaturalNews and thinks that "GMO mosquitoes" means that they're going to bite his children and spread a zombie plague.

Changing the balance in an ecosystem can have huge consequences.

Contrary to popular belief, changing the bottom of a food chain rarely has major consequences; it's the changing of the top of a food chain that tends to have the biggest consequences. The higher up the food chain you go, not only do you have more of a profound impact on the landscape (look at how radically, say, deer overpopulation transforms a whole ecosystem), but also the more species tend to be generalists rather than specialists. Generalists means the ability to switch more readily between food sources, meaning changes further down have little impact on them. But if you eliminate a top predator from an area, the consequences further down can be profound.

Comment: They already did. (Score 1) 247

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48937041) Attached to: One In Five Developers Now Works On IoT Projects

Next you know the young whipper-snappers will take "variables" and call them "dynamic constants"

In Bluetooth (especially Bluetoothe Low Energy (BLE)) they already reanamed them. They call one a "characteristic" (when you include the metadata describing it) or a "characteristic value" (when you mean just the the current value of the variable itself).

Comment: Re:Liars figure and figures lie (Score 1) 135

by Bogtha (#48934339) Attached to: The American App Economy Is Now "Bigger Than Hollywood"

the functionality of the devices is about the same

It's very different. On Android, you have to decide whether to grant permission before you've ever run the application, and it's all or nothing. On iOS, you run the application before deciding whether or not to grant it permission. You have the ability to deny permission while still running the application. You can also allow permission for some things but not others.

This functionality is partially available to Android users who root their phones and install the right tools, but that's far from the common case.

Comment: Oi (Score 1) 226

by fyngyrz (#48929867) Attached to: Facebook Censoring Images of the Prophet Muhammad In Turkey

I was saying that it makes a lot of sense for Facebook not to allow pictures of Mohammad in Turkey. Just like they don't allow boobies in the USA.

It doesn't "make sense", it simply retards social progress by keeping neurotics from considering the darker corners of their own thought processes. I mean, seriously. "Boobies bad"? That's just... pitiful. I am perfectly ready to describe anyone who isn't pleased by the sight of a nice pair of boobies in any neutral, humorous, peaceful, appreciative or loving context as a broken human being. One for whom I have sympathy and pity, but in no way does this engender any urge to force the world into a form that serves to insulate them from the toxic processes of their own twisted psyches.

As for drawing Mohammad, your assertion that there is no purpose but offense is wrong out of the gate. Art is one reason, political commentary is another, historical illustration is another, simple choice is another, and yes, offense is one but that doesn't make it an invalid use.

Comment: I thought the point of the charge ... (Score 3, Interesting) 41

by Ungrounded Lightning (#48929295) Attached to: Spider Spins Electrically Charged Silk

I thought the point of the charge was to make the "wooly" side-fibers of the strands wrap around the prey's limbs and/or the microscopic irregularities in the exoskeleton, tangling to it. "Tying" the fibers to the prey would have a similar binding effect to gluing them to it, without the need for glue, and lots of little fibers could make a very strong attachment.

(Stretching fibers made of long chains makes them stronger by aligning the chains along the direction of the stretch.)

Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money. -- Arthur Miller

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