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ABEL 65). Like most early Christian exegetes, Augustine treats Cain as symbolic and promises a pilgrimage to the Holy Land to wash the blood from his hand; in one of Abel's traps, then to the offspring () of the wolf and Abel's bitch.

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Zika and Dengue are also transmitted by Aedes aegypti. Warmer-weather mosquitos which, like the tiger, are particularly well adapted for life amongst humans with a penchant for laying their eggs in roadside bottle-caps, abandoned tires, or backyard tarps. A habit that makes them particularly successful breeders—free from natural predators like fish or dragonfly larvae—and difficult to eradicate with pesticide spray programs. Centuries ago, yellow fever outbreaks in Northeast cities from Boston to Philadelphia suggest that Aedes, likely carried aboard ship from far-flung ports, survived long enough to spread disease before succumbing to cool weather.

Those of us who remember mosquito-free evenings of the 60s and 70s probably also remember the fog of DDT trucks. With the advent of synthetic chemistry, we turned to miraculous chemical cures like DDT and other powerful pesticides. A few decades later our hubris was rewarded with a catastrophic decline in raptors and resistance in targeted insects. Plenty of communities still spray next-generation pesticides like resmethrin and biologically-based bacterial sprays but for every chemical cure there is, or will likely soon be, a resistant population.

Pests with amped up detoxification systems or target sites with reduced sensitivity.

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Not to mention harm done to the innocent bystanders, beneficial insects that prey upon pests or pollinate plants. And, for a species like Aedes , pesticide from a large-scale spray program may not find its way into that bottle cap, or dog bowl or old tire. For these buggers, control requires a more personal touch: a weekly scan of the yard, junk yard, or parking lot. With a flight range of a couple hundred meters, clearing a yard or a neighborhood block of mosquito breeders can go a long way towards control.

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There is some hope. Most notably, scientists have engineered mosquitoes to produce offspring destined to die before they are old enough to reproduce. This strategy is already in trials in Brazil, Florida, and elsewhere. Because reproduction is the Achilles heel of the evolutionary process inheritance, inheritance, inheritance! And while we have learned time and again that it is difficult to fool Mother Nature, we also need to consider the consequences of actually doing so.

Like, the consequences of world without Aedes or other mosquitoes. Predators that feed on mosquitoes or larvae will find other food; other pollinators will fill in where mosquitoes left off. Mosquito-borne diseases have killed hundreds of millions of people approximately one million individuals each year. Vaccines have saved many more. Even so, it may be years before vaccines enable us to shed our long sleeves and ditch the mosquito repellent.


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  • So what are our options? After nearly a century of resting on our chemical laurels, we need to think differently. There is no quick fix. As with Lyme we will all need to become a little more wary, a lot less cavalier and a bit more humbled by Nature. We will need to be more strategic about how and when we use pesticides, how we dress when we go outside, and perhaps even when we go outside. We also need to be more aware of our contribution to the problem. When we venture out into the field during tick season a depressingly longer stretch of time each year , we expect ticks.

    Not so now. Not so comfortable, but what the heck. And sweeping around the yard every few days drying out the mosquito breeders will definitely become part of the spring and summer routine. As much as I know not to leave standing water, the dog bowl has nurtured plenty of newly hatched mosquitos over the years. This post originally appeared on Emily Monosson's blog Evolution in a Toxic World and is reposted here with her permission.

    We were closing in on the end of a glorious spring weekend when my husband discovered the bag. He had no idea. Nor had I. Not really. So, to be safe and feeling a bit sheepish that, as a toxicologist I ought to have an answer to the raisin question I suggested he call the vet.

    And that is when we fell into the raisin hell rabbit hole. Five minutes later dog and husband were on their way to the doggie ER, pushed ahead of the mixed breeds and the Golden and the sad-sack blood hound and their people waiting for service. Meanwhile I took to Google. Was this really a life or death dog emergency? Differences in uptake, metabolism, excretion. Feeding Tylenol to cats is a very bad idea as if you could feed a cat a Tylenol tablet. And pyrethrin-based pesticides in canine flea and tick preventions are verboten in felines.

    The inability to fully metabolize and detoxify these chemicals can kill a particularly curious cat. But raisins in dogs? Not so clear. Googling will either send you racing off to the vet or to bed. You may even toss your best friend a few grapes for a late night treat, smug in the knowledge that those who have bought into the hysteria are hemorrhaging dollars while paying off the vet school debt of a veterinarian who is gleefully inducing their dog to vomit, while you snooze.

    Some were even still wrinkled! Potential disaster averted. We had a good laugh about the revisit of the raisins. That was just the first step. Apparently we had underestimated the price of a good vomit. Continue reading the full post on Evolution in a Toxic World.

    Evolving World: Evolution in Everyday Life | BioScience | Oxford Academic

    But by equating genetic modification with herbicide resistant plants, this article is misleading. Many of us agree there are problems with herbicide resistant plants, and that misuse, overuse and eventually resistance in weeds has put users on a toxic herbicide treadmill. Take potatoes engineered to resist one of the most destructive potato pathogens, late blight, the disease that devastated Irish potato crops and kicked off the Great Famine. When blight strikes it can destroy crops so rapidly that growers often use multiple applications sometimes more than a dozen a season of toxic fungicides to prevent disease.

    A decade ago tons of fungicide were applied to potato crops just here in the states. In turn, blight has evolved to resist many of those pesticides. For such an aggressive disease, genetic engineering may be one of the few options for growers wishing to reduce their use of toxic chemicals. In this case rather than inserting genes from a totally foreign species, one approach is to insert disease resistance genes from a more resilient relative.

    The potatoes recently engineered by scientists at The Wageningen University Research in the Netherlands for example are, they say, indistinguishable from the potatoes we love to bake and fry. Why use engineering when a grower might breed for resistance, an ages old practice?

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    One reason is speed. Additionally, Wageningen University Research retains the intellectual property and offers non-exclusive licenses to parties interested in working with the genes or resistant plants in an effort to thwart corporate control. The cisgenic process along with other techniques like gene editing are providing opportunities for genetic engineering that call for reevaluation.

    Genetic engineering is a technology, not a product. Below: an image from the Hartsfield-Jackson airport. MenB is a potentially lethal and easily spread infection particularly in settings where young adults gather together.

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    As the university races to vaccinate tens of thousands of students, my thoughts turn to our daughter, a senior in college. They would not, stating that it was available only for those who had other health indications. Perhaps if it were more easily available, colleges would not have to react, and students would already be protected. My father had just returned from the Navy, an apple-cheeked mischievous twenty year-old looking forward to his junior year in college when meningitis struck. It was and the last thing he recalled was brushing his teeth at home in the bathroom.

    For the next ten days he lay unconscious in a hospital bed his body fighting off an invisible army of bacterial invaders.


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    • Aided by the new miracle drug, penicillin, he survived, but not entirely unscathed. Shortly after recovery my father was jolted by brain seizures — his brain permanently damaged by the infection. Meningitis is a catch-all term for swelling of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord. Specific viruses, fungi, and injury can all cause the potentially fatal condition but one of the most frightening and lethal causes is bacterial infection.

      My father was relatively lucky. A few of us may die from the infection, even today. My kids were born in the s. Though the disease is rare here in the U. Except for the escape artist, a serotype called meningitis B or MenB. Though rare, the infection that can take a turn for the worse within hours, has frustrated vaccine makers for decades. And it seems to pop up out of nowhere. In an outbreak at the University of California caused a freshman lacrosse player to undergo amputation of both feet. Four other students were infected, and the university was forced to provide prophylactic antibiotics to five hundred students.

      With the help of educational technology, people can up-skill and become better qualified in their profession. It should be a continuous cycle. New tools are making on-the-job learning more exciting for both employees and employers. Elearning platforms and micro-learning now cater for a wide range of online courses and training.

      This has made new concepts and information easier to digest. Personalised learning and gamification will continue to grow in strength with the latter proving to be highly engaging for employees.

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      Gamification also adds a competitive edge to the learning process. Workers will aim to complete certain tasks, obtain badges and then be rewarded for their efforts. Leveraging this technology provides new and exciting opportunities to transform business goals and outcomes. Mark May 27th in your diary as TruDublin is coming around again! Mag explores the ruins to find a means of paying off the family debt while at the same time searching for his lost father and going on great adventures of his own.

      The series is known for its lighthearted stories, lovable, memorable characters and its own unique sense of humour and comedic elements.

      Like other JRPGs from the 's, the games have a high difficulty level and heavy amounts of grinding are required to complete them. However the second game uses pre-made dungeons. Even within the smaller RPG community for Sega consoles, the series has been largely overlooked and unappreciated outside of its fanbase.