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Mayda Nathan @MaydaNathan
, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter… @NPRGoatsandSoda Usually a big fan of your journalism, but you guys did a disservice to your readers in the piece on gene drive in A. gambiae. Why would you reach out to anti-GMO activist Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher for comment on this research? #malaria
First of all, asking Dr. Steinbrecher to comment on the consequences of using genetic engineering to suppress a disease vector is a bit like asking the pope about a newly developed form of birth control.

Of COURSE she’ll be against it - for ideological, arbitrary reasons
Plus, Dr. Steinbrecher’s degree is in developmental biology, not #ecology. Her statement about “ecosystem crashes” is absurd, and displays her ignorance in this area
Ecosystems are almost never like teetering Jenga towers - something the many researchers studying the #biodiversity-ecosystem function relationship today could tell you
I get wanting to address some of the concerns about a new technology, in your piece, but there were much better, less ideologically motivated people you could have reached out to……
…like the Ghanaian and British scientists who, according to this article, are setting out to study this EXACT question: What are consequences of removing A. gambiae from Ghanaian ecosystems?…
…or the authors of this paper, who are all trained in entomology, biological control, and ecological risk-benefit analysis.
*Phew* sorry for the rant. It just pains me to see fringe ideology and cliches about ecology mixed up with solid scientific research.
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