1 karmaJoined Nov 2023


someone recently posted the transcript from an 80k hours podcast interview with an MIT scientist who invented something called the CRISPR drive, which the MIT scientist thinks could be used to make lots of male screwworms infertile so that they stop making larvae that eat the flesh of many millions of animals every year. New World Screwworm would be difficult to eradicate in South America, where it does most of its damage, but it is still endemic in Cuba, Jamaica, Hispaniola, and Trinidad and Tobago, which are island nations who would be protected by the sea from re-infestation if NWSW were to be eradicated on their territories. I imagine it may also be problem on non-sovereign islands like Colombia's San Andres and Providencia in the Caribbean, and maybe Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, which definitely has a parasite that is endangering several bird species by invading the organisms of hatchlings. Uruguay is trying to eradicate NWSW on its territory now. maybe a megaproject could pay technicians from the Uruguay mission, if it turns out to be successful, to try to repeat the feat on a Caribbean island to try to bring the issue to the attention of more nation-states and donors.

FDA also approved a Chikungunya (sp?) vaccine recently. lots of tropical winning

Uruguay is a promising place to start. the IAEA web site says that Chile is the only South American country that doesn't have a Screwworm problem. that takes care of most of Argentina's border. Success for Uruguay would make the job a bit easier for Argentina to follow. it's fun to imagine a bunch more deer and capibaras and bunnies

hopefully international cooperation and funding would be feasible, as each country that undertakes eradication presumably makes subsequent tries a bit easier, especially for neighboring countries

Island-hopping would make sense for thrift, as eradication in Puerto Rico and Curacao doesn't seem to have been as high-maintenance to keep up as eradication in Panama. IAEA web site says Cuba, DR, Haiti, Jamaica, and T&T have screwworm. Islands belonging to South American countries like Colombia's San Andres and Providencia and Ecuador's Galapagos islands may also have them