Considering that the "key molecular tools" used for gene editing can be bought on eBay for "probably less than $10,000," scientists are urging care when modifying the DNA of plants and animals, especially when some of the genes are being made dominant, with potentially unknown collateral effects if released in nature.
Where poisoning, hunting, freezing, and whacking have failed, gene drive might succeed. One idea would be to drive a gene that makes the toads die when they’re exposed to an otherwise-harmless compound. Gene drive might similarly eliminate other invasive species, including the zebra mussels clogging the Great Lakes, the Asian carp driving native species out of America’s waterways, and the pythons that have obliterated raccoons and rabbits in Florida’s Everglades.
While that may sound ecologically worthwhile, intervening in nature seldom goes as planned. For one thing, these invasive species are also established species, said environmental biologist Todd Kuiken of the Woodrow Wilson Center. “I don’t think we have a good way to evaluate what happens if we remove a species from a system as large as” the Great Lakes, let alone Australia, he said.
|Let There Be Aliens|
|Reprogramming White Blood Cells to Kill Cancer|
|If We Live in a Multiverse, How Many Are There?|
|Unknown Asteroid Buzzed Earth|
|Lonely Planet Found Not Orbiting a Star|
|Chinese warehouse organises, packs, and fulfills 200,000 orders a day with four people|
|“A machine meant to hurl rockets into space.”|
|Fake Name Generator|
|Japanese Robot Serves Ice Cream From Inside a Vending Machine|
|“The only thing worse than assuming that carbon removal will save the day is assuming it will save the day.”|
|What Computers See When They Watch a Movie|
|How to Avoid Jury Duty|
|CaptchaTweet: Write Tweets in Captcha Form|
|The (Very Scary) People of Public Transit|
|Recycled Vacuum Lamps|
|David Reeves' Paper Cutouts Inspired by Classic Cult Movies|