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Altering Nantucket's Mice

Discussion in 'Wildlife & Nature Conservation' started by birdsandbats, 11 Sep 2018.

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Do you think this plan is a good idea?

  1. Yes, it should continue

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No, nothing should be done

    1 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. No, scientists should find another way to combat the disease

    3 vote(s)
    75.0%
  1. birdsandbats

    birdsandbats Well-Known Member

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    Nantucket (an island off the coast of Massachusetts) is having a huge problem with Lyme Disease. A recent explosion in Deer Tick populations has cause 40% of Nentucketers to be diagnosed with the disease.

    Some scientists propose to get rid of this problem by altering the genome of the local White-Footed Mice (the main carrier of Lyme Disease) to make the rodents resistant to the disease.

    One scientist's radical idea to engineer mice and stop Lyme disease

    Do you think this is a good idea?
     
  2. Terry Thomas

    Terry Thomas Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Very difficult decision! If this leads to the saving of many human lives it may be for the best. The mouse species would still survive, even though slightly altered. Would the change be noticed?? Having had a similar disease, in Australia, I can tell you that it is nothing to laugh about!
     
  3. Coelacanth18

    Coelacanth18 Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The question of how it would affect the mice population (assuming that it successfully minimizes the Lyme disease problem) can't really be answered with reasonable certainty until they do test trials. Making even a slight change to the genome could have any number of unforeseen consequences.

    Of course, when 40% of people on the island have been diagnosed with Lyme, it's hard to argue that it shouldn't at least be investigated as an option.
     
    birdsandbats likes this.
  4. Terry Thomas

    Terry Thomas Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Location:
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    I agree with you, and sure hope that there would first be investigations as to cause and effects.