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Write: The Scientist, 400 Market Street, Suite 1250, Philadelphia, PA 19106 Email: letters@the-scientist.com Fax: (215)351-1143 Hereditary sterility for species eradication Re: "Precision Extinction."1 Traps, poison, epizooties, and other measures seem too crude in the face of so many genetic advances. What could be more specific than species-reproduction controls? This could be an i

The Scientist Staff
Jan 1, 2006

Write: The Scientist, 400 Market Street, Suite 1250, Philadelphia, PA 19106

Email: letters@the-scientist.com

Fax: (215)351-1143

Hereditary sterility for species eradication

Re: "Precision Extinction."1 Traps, poison, epizooties, and other measures seem too crude in the face of so many genetic advances. What could be more specific than species-reproduction controls? This could be an induced change in male chromosomes so that the whole progeny would carry only YY sperm. Once introduced in appropriate numbers, those males could bring about the species' extinction by progressive loss of females. Theoretically, this should work with all dyadic animal organisms. Is anyone currently working on such a "hereditary sterility?"

Aldo Pereira
São Paulo, Brazil
aldopereira@yahoo.com

Nick Atkinson responds: It's true that many of the technologies involved in eradication campaigns seem rather crude, but that's perhaps only at a surface level. Techniques such as the use of "Judas" goats or pigs have a highly specific effect,...

1. N. Atkinson, "Precision extinction," The Scientist, 19(22):16?8, Nov. 21, 2005.