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Planet Earth

Talking Soul In DC

The LoomBy Carl ZimmerJanuary 8, 2004 9:49 AM


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I'm en route to Washington DC to talk tonight about Soul Made Flesh. If you're in the District, please come to Reiter's Bookstore at 2021 K Street NW at 6:30. On my web site I'm posting all my talks and radio interviews as they get confirmed. In lieu of a blog of my own, let me point to a couple interesting items. --At Quark Soup, David Appell gets righteously indignant about a new paper that predicts a major wave of extinction due to global warming. Actually, the paper could turn out to be a conservative underestimate (not to be confused with certain politically conservative underestimates of these sorts of things). Habitat loss, biological invasions, nitrogen pollution, increases in diseases, overfishing, and other impacts on endangered species may well work together synergistically, so that the whole of their damage is more than the sum of their parts. --At the Intersection, Chris Mooney muses on genetically engineering mosquitoes to fight malaria. He's right to ask whether malaria-proof mosquitoes can compete in the evolutionary arena with wild mosquitoes. In fact, I just know I read some research published recently that indicated the bugs probably get knocked out. Evolution often works as a tradeoff between fighting off parasites and using that energy for other things, like moving or eating. Unfortunately, I don't have the time in transit to find it. In any case, all grand dreams of genetic modification need to take natural selection into account

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