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It's been awhile since I've written anything for dendroboard. Current events present an opportunity to back up a very real scenario.

Is everybody sick of hearing me talk about the creation of a novel pathogen yet? Too bad. I'm going to do it again.

If I wanted to create a novel pathogen, I could do it. I wouldn't even need a laboratory. Here's how simple it would be.
Method one.
Build a vivarium and put multiple species from different parts of the world in it. Supply conditions favorable for keeping these multiple species alive for an extended period of time.
Here's what can happen. Species 1 carries pathogens that it has developed immunities for. Species 2 has not been introduced to that pathogen and has no natural antibodies or immunities. If luck is on on the side of species 2, then the pathogen that species 1 carries will not be able to infect him.
Over time, however, this can still become problematic. Perhaps, even more problematic. You have created an environment in which both species can thrive. Therefore, species 2 is always in close contact with this seemingly harmless pathogen from species 1.
You have created a situation in which our harmless little pathogen can keep reproducing within species 1. The entire time, every new generation has the chance to adapt. Every new generation has the chance to become something that will affect species 2. Come on, we all saw Jurassic Park.
"If there's one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, and crashes through barriers painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh, well, there it is. ..."
"Life, uh, finds a way"
So will that pathogen, and who knows what it will become in the process? Are you aware that a virus can pick up any portion of its host's DNA, and Incorporated into its own viral genome? Bacteria also trade genes between each other quite readily.
There it is, friends. We have just created a new viral pathogen. I wonder if we'll get extra credit for the multiple bacterial pathogens we may have also created? What I'm trying to say here is, we have created a novel pathogen. Who knows what other species it could now attack? Could it become as bad as chytrid, wiping out every amphibian it crosses paths with? Could it even become chytrid itself? You better believe we're going to loop back around to that in a while.

"Oh, but Doug", you say, " we've heard you and Ed preach this before, and it all sounds like science fiction."

I'm not done yet. Let's look at another way to create a novel pathogen.
Method 2.
Set up an open air market place. Sell all kinds of weird, exotic meats. You could even sell the meat of the exotic pangolin. Being the worlds only scaled mammal, that should fetch a pretty penny, don't you think? Ideally, you'd want to keep plenty of people crowding through the place at all times. You want to keep sanitary conditions low, and maybe have some bats do an occasional fly by. Really, the more different species you can cram in there, the better your chances.

This, my friends, is covid-19...a novel pathogen.

The latest genetic testing shows that in all probability, covid 19 started from bats in China. The latest genetic testing indicates that the virus spread from bats to the Pangolin.
In the testing of 1000 animals, scientists found a 99% match in the genome sequencing of the virus found in pangolins and in human species.

The creation of a novel pathogen is NOT science fiction. Look around. It's affecting all of us right now. This is affecting everyone you know. The creation of a novel pathogen is nothing to be taken lightly.

I've been away from the Frog hobby for a while now, so perhaps this has changed. Once Upon a Time, the dreaded frog plague known as Chytrid, was theorized to have been created by accident, possibly within our very own frog Hobby, by keeping inappropriate animals together.
The very disease that threatens every frog hobbyist, may have been created by a frog hobbyist.

I will say it again, the creation of a novel pathogen is nothing to be taken lightly.

If you were expecting me to teach you how to mix species, sorry. I do not condone the mixing of animal species from different parts of the world.

It's not a theory anymore, people. Knock it off! Quit mixing species!
 

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Arguments against mixing species
1) Can be difficult to properly pair different species if you have limited husbandry experience.
- Weak, implies time is all that is required to achieve success
2) Risk creating a bioweapon
- Strong(if you understand scale & systemic risk), research backed, prophetic, states with certainty there is limited/zero upside and unquantifiable downside.

Great post. I must've missed previous post on this but i hadn't seen this argument before.
 

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I don't think the hobby needs to worry about that. People have been in contact with animals for as long as the two have been together and whatever will naturally occur has and will.

In the US we have 20 open trades per year (just throwing out a number) with vendors selling animals from the same original breeding sources.

The worlds wild caught animal markets (for eating or local pet trade) have been an ongoing event every day for hundreds or thousands of years.

I think the likeliness that we unleash a killer virus from our tanks is low to none.

I also keep fish and birds. Lots more sources and mixed wild caught specimens in those than frogs.
 

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People have been in contact with animals for as long as the two have been together and whatever will naturally occur has and will.
The point is what can happen artificially; there ain't nothin' natural about the mixing that some keepers do.

Also, on that line of argument ("whatever is going to happen, is going to happen"), a person can justify any atrocity whatsoever.


I think the likeliness that we unleash a killer virus from our tanks is low to none.
You caught what Pumilo wrote about the possibility that chytrid was such a pathogen, caused by genetic mixing in captivity, right? That means nothing to you, or what?

BS arguments ("whatever is going to happen...") and "likeliness" claims in the face of a counterexample are both worthless.
 

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I don't think the hobby needs to worry about that. People have been in contact with animals for as long as the two have been together and whatever will naturally occur has and will.

In the US we have 20 open trades per year (just throwing out a number) with vendors selling animals from the same original breeding sources.

The worlds wild caught animal markets (for eating or local pet trade) have been an ongoing event every day for hundreds or thousands of years.

I think the likeliness that we unleash a killer virus from our tanks is low to none.

I also keep fish and birds. Lots more sources and mixed wild caught specimens in those than frogs.

Even if likelihood is .001%(non-zero probability)of total ruin(whether for humans(as we see with SARS) or for our frogs(chytrid as pumilo stated may have started from us) given enough time it WILL lead to ruin. See Nassim Taleb’s non-zero probability risk resulting in ruin.

Two domains linear and nonlinear, this is in the nonlinear domain and human intuition is particular poor in assessing risk in this domain.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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Great post!

Honestly, I don’t see why people mix species from different part of the world anyway. There’s no benefit for the frogs, and just risk. The minimal benefit for the keeper isn’t worth it. Personally, I don’t think I’d enjoy keeping animals if I wasn’t positive I was providing the best I could for them. Seeing them thrive and knowing they’re safe is so rewarding, I don’t see why anyone would sacrifice that just to mix species.
 

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Another example: typhoid kills 600,000 people a year, and does it because of genetic recombination:

https://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/1/61.short

Oh, my -- and influenza, from a mixing of pathogens from different species: "Independent assortment between an animal and a human strain of influenza virus during a mixed infection can yield an antigenically novel influenza virus strain capable of infecting humans but carrying animal-strain hemagglutinin and/or neuraminidase surface molecules. This recombinant can infect individuals that are immune to the parent human virus. This mechanism results in an immediate, major antigenic change and is called antigenic shift. Antigenic shifts in influenza virus antigens can give rise to pandemics (worldwide epidemics) of influenza. Such antigenic shifts have occurred relatively frequently during recent history."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8439/
 
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I've never heard that chytrid could have been caused by the hobby. It is a fungus. Frogs live in probably the worst environments around the world and this fungus likely naturally evolved in the wild. The amphibian trade could have spread the disease but it did not start there.

The mixing of species has always been one of personal view and this is where opinions differ. Not only in the amphibian hobby but in almost animal husbandry. Sometimes it's for the health of the animal. Most times it's other motivations.

In birds, some mutations are unhealthy while others get the best of both and is the start of something new.

I'm not one to either advocate for or against mixing as I know every situation has it's own reasons, but I know Heinekenvirus isn't coming out of tanks.
 

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Another example: typhoid kills 600,000 people a year, and does it because of genetic recombination:

https://genome.cshlp.org/content/17/1/61.short

Oh, my -- and influenza, from a mixing of pathogens from different species: "Independent assortment between an animal and a human strain of influenza virus during a mixed infection can yield an antigenically novel influenza virus strain capable of infecting humans but carrying animal-strain hemagglutinin and/or neuraminidase surface molecules. This recombinant can infect individuals that are immune to the parent human virus. This mechanism results in an immediate, major antigenic change and is called antigenic shift. Antigenic shifts in influenza virus antigens can give rise to pandemics (worldwide epidemics) of influenza. Such antigenic shifts have occurred relatively frequently during recent history."

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK8439/
Diseases have always been with man and wild. It's the nature of the natural world. Europeans killed natives with their disease when they colonized America. If anything, we should concentrate on protecting our tanks from the outside and not the outside from us.
 

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He didn't even read the post or he wouldn't have claimed not to know about chytrid.
Some people choose not learn. I'm not going to waste time arguing with them.:eek:
I'll bet that's not the reaction you guys expected from me.
 

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I don't think the hobby needs to worry about that. People have been in contact with animals for as long as the two have been together and whatever will naturally occur has and will.

In the US we have 20 open trades per year (just throwing out a number) with vendors selling animals from the same original breeding sources.

The worlds wild caught animal markets (for eating or local pet trade) have been an ongoing event every day for hundreds or thousands of years.

I think the likeliness that we unleash a killer virus from our tanks is low to none.

I also keep fish and birds. Lots more sources and mixed wild caught specimens in those than frogs.
This has got to be one of the most ignorant statements I have ever read that deploys decent grammar.

I will isolate only one item - comparing the Wet Markets of "hundreds or thousands of years ago" to the scale and populace density impact of today.

Sure, the filth and hardcore cruelty often for ridiculous purposes are an inherited similarity but to minimize our eras exploding scope in the face of what is happening now, Wow.
 

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with vendors selling animals from the same original breeding sources.
Another untrue "Belief".

Some people prefer the comfort of myopia and mythology to the inconvenience of not getting to do anything they want.
 

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And you guys can educate me on the impact mixing species has with regards to a global pandemic. So far I see beauty in man's creations; from canaries to fish to dogs, etc.

The premise of this thread is one of not mixing species because the possibility of creating "a new viral pathogen" with examples of the coronavirus and chytrid.

Covid-19 started from "bats in China". Not Chinese bats bred to Mexican bats at the Saint Louis Zoo whose caretaker accidentally carried the disease home to infect their dog and subsequently spreading it to the general population. It's from the wild.

We now know Chytrid has been isolated to have strongly begun somewhere in Korea. It was present in the wild long before any of us were keeping frogs.

"Theorized" is just a guess and we all have one. Spreading false information or theories becomes fact to those who cannot or do not do their own research.

If you didn't know, there is currently a poultry bird flu (virulent newcastle disease) going on in Southern California right now with quarantine zones more strict than Covid-19 and healthy birds in the area killed by the government to stop the spread. Any species of poultry who contracts the disease will die.

Man did not create this one either by breeding an Asian chicken to a Canadian one.
 

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Another untrue "Belief".

Some people prefer the comfort of myopia and mythology to the inconvenience of not getting to do anything they want.
That was intended more as a figure of speech. I was at a reptile show a couple weeks ago and many prior. Lot's of vendors obtain or breed from the same original source when you ask them what bloodline their animals are from.
 

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This has got to be one of the most ignorant statements I have ever read that deploys decent grammar.

I will isolate only one item - comparing the Wet Markets of "hundreds or thousands of years ago" to the scale and populace density impact of today.

Sure, the filth and hardcore cruelty often for ridiculous purposes are an inherited similarity but to minimize our eras exploding scope in the face of what is happening now, Wow.
We can look at all the historical plagues of the world and I'm sure none was created by man that couldn't naturally occur, or one that couldn't find it's way.

Quote from Pumelo's post:

"If there's one thing the history of evolution has taught us, it's that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories, and crashes through barriers painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh, well, there it is...."

"Life, uh, finds a way"
 

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Covid-19 started from "bats in China". Not Chinese bats bred to Mexican bats at the Saint Louis Zoo whose caretaker accidentally carried the disease home to infect their dog and subsequently spreading it to the general population. It's from the wild.

Man did not create this one either by breeding an Asian chicken to a Canadian one.

We can look at all the historical plagues of the world and I'm sure none was created by man that couldn't naturally occur, or one that couldn't find it's way.
Yes, but it went from wild bats to pangolins to humans. The sole reason this could happen is because there are markets in China with living animals kept close together in stressfull conditions. This caused a lowering of their immune systems, making them susceptible to these kind of viruses. The reason humans then got it is because the air quality in Wuhan is amongst the worst in the world, causing respiratory problems and, again, creating an opportunity for the virus to go from one species to the next.

Nobody said that mixing species would cause new pathogens to occur because they interbred. The fact that they are in close proximity causes the viruses to potentially go from one species to another. And yes these diseases could potentially occur naturally, but what is happening here is that humans are accelerating the process by continued exposure of different species.

Also: nobody said that chytrid and covid-19 are man-made, it was said they possibly originated under man-made circumstances, which is a vastly different statement.
 

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That was intended more as a figure of speech. I was at a reptile show a couple weeks ago and many prior. Lot's of vendors obtain or breed from the same original source when you ask them what bloodline their animals are from.

Ohh Okay, of course. You asked them and they told you. I mean, its a Reptile Show, so its gotta be true - right!?
 

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"Theorized" is just a guess and we all have one.
Xue, my background is in academia. I can say, conclusively, that to theorize as scientific researchers do is not simply to guess.

Do you have a plan for where you're taking this? It seems that your lashing out has run its course and might simply be better if it ended.

OK?
 
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