h a l f b a k e r y
"It would work, if you can find alternatives to each of the steps involved in this process."
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In order to domesticate mosquitos follow these steps:
Place blood buffets into known mosquito breeding
The more the better. Blood buffet is a special
that attracts, nourishes and protects mosquitos from
predators. Here is the catch. Generation 1 blood buffet
will be identical to human skin (in terms of penetration
difficulty and nutrients). I know - this will suck (literally)
... However, generation 2 - 10,000 will increasingly
diverge until the blood buffet is very different from
skin. In fact it will be so different that a generation
10,000 mosquito will be unable to penetrate human skin,
nor will it be able to get nourishment from the nutrients
found in the human blood. It will rely on the blood buffet
It will be sort of a social contract between species.
Humans feed mosquitos as long as mosquitos don't feed
But what if some "wild" mosquitos survive? We can
release some domesticated mosquitos in the area to
outcompete them out of existence.
I admit there may be big holes in the implementation,
I believe the core idea is solid. Think about it this way.
The more we fight, the more mosquitos evolve ... they
quieter, quicker, less painful (while sucking to avoid
detection) .. and they are winning. In fact the better
are at swatting them, the more nasty they become. Say
you swat 99 of them ... if the 100th gets you she'll spawn
thousands of super offspring... it won't be nice. We will
never exterminate them, and if we somehow do, we
out an important food source from the eco-system.
Domestication is the next best bet.
||I suspect, though, that you'd just drive speciation,
leading to two species of mosquito (buffet and the
||Your idea of outcompeting the wild-type
mosquitos...what are they competing for? If food,
then they won't compete.
||I don't think they compete for food. It's hard to
imagine enough wild mosquitos to drink so much
blood from a human as to "run out"
I believe the competition is more along the lines
of mating. Let's say there are 100,000
domesticated mosquito females (fed and ready to
reproduce) and 100,000 males. On the
same day there are 100,000 wild males and 100 wild
females that are ready to reproduce (not as any
because to reproduce a female needs to have had
a blood meal).
will happen. Some of the domestic males will mate
with wild females (effectivelly neutralizing them).
the population of the domestic mosquitos will
baloon relative to the wild population making this
effect even more pronounced in the next
I don't think speciation will be a problem because
you need non-breeding groups for speciation to
occur. As long at the wild ones and domestic ones
can breed, the domestic genes will win.
||However, at the risk of sounding like Ian Malcolm
from Jurassic Park, "life will find a way". What I
mean is, there's a good living to be made by eating
human blood, and something will find a way to fill
||They're called attourneys, and they've already found a suitable evolutionary niche.
||In a very nice, and very expensive, office on the 23rd floor of an extremely prestigious city-centre business development.
||combine the two? mosquitos evolved to feed on
[MB] ... yes life will find a way. But it will take
time (lots of time) Humans can accelerate the
process and beat evolution. Life will find a way
but it's a way of the least resistance.
If humans actually succeed domesticating
mosquitos and some wise ass
decides to pull the plug on the buffet funding
(probably at a time when kids grow up not even
knowing what a mosquito is) ... I'm sure the
mosquitos will re-evolve their blood sucking
capability in the face of imminent extinction. But
if the blood buffets are well stocked, mosquitos
would be evolutionary stupid to waste their time
risking sucking on a human.
||Before you go with the domestication route, why not come
up here to Maine and try some of our free-range
mosquitos? They are plentiful and well-fed, and they won't
cost you a cent. Take as many as you like!