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.
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|“Our Internet handlers, not government, are using operant conditioning to modify our behaviour today.”|
|“That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think.”|
|“During this phase of decline, the US was likely to go through a phase of reactionary 'fascism'.”|
|“Nobody is forcing the participants to stay, of course, but if they leave, they won’t be paid.”|
|“We’re going to start to see chip implants get the same realm of acceptance as piercings and tattoos.”|
|“The shift from fuel and pistons to batteries and electric motors is unlikely to take that long.”|
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|“Eliminating the time needed to stop and re-charge a conventional electric car’s battery.”|