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WMFlight's avatar

Why don't the scientists do something really helpful like the complete eradication of fleas and other dangerous parasites?

Asked by WMFlight (173points) June 6th, 2013

Fleas aren’t part of the food chain but cause endless misery to animals and humans? Considering the leaps forward that science has made in gene manipulation etc. Instead of making luminous pigs and other sad projects why don’t they do this? I’m sure pet owners would contribute funds.
If ever a pandemic could be spread again by fleas it would be devastating. (The extinct human flea once spread the plague I believe).

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13 Answers

snowberry's avatar

Because compared to GMO corn, there’s no money in it. That’s the short story.

fundevogel's avatar

Why do you think that fleas aren’t part of the food chain? As far as I can tell it’s damn near impossible to be alive and not a part of that system. A cursory glance seems to indicate a lot of birds eat fleas, though it’s not so easy to figure out how important they are to their diet, in general or by species.

RocketGuy's avatar

Chemical companies are making $$$ on flea products, so would be very upset if fleas became extinct. Probably set up some misinformation campaign, like for Climate Change and tobacco.

Seek's avatar

Where did my post go? Oh well, re-do

The Black Plague was spread by fleas which travelled on rats (and people, but mostly rats).

However, we might try making a habit of shaving our – ahem – kitties. It seems to be working for against the crab louse

Pachy's avatar

Perhaps you could study science and become a contributor to any solution you believe needs discovering, though I’m not unconvinced that killing parasites willy-nilly should rank particularly high on the Important Solutions Needed list.

Berserker's avatar

I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to try and eradicate an entire species as it can fuck up the environment really bad. Now I don’t know how fleas come into play for that, and it seems we would be better off without them…or again, mosquitoes that carry diseases and the like. I mean I know they all play their part, but it just seems they hurt people and animals.
Methinks it would be better if they were killed. But if such parasitic animals just carry a virus, it might be better to try and get rid of the virus itself. Of course, that also goes into upsetting nature and stuff. I don’t know. Nature is pretty cruel, but it does what it does for a reason. Anyways, even though science is awesome, insects and fleas and mosquitoes are viruses and diseases are older than almost anything. It’s probably pretty hard getting rid of them.

Considering the leaps forward that science has made in gene manipulation etc. Instead of making luminous pigs and other sad projects why don’t they do this?

aye s33 wut j00 did thar

rojo's avatar

Same can be said of politicians. (Derived from the Latin word “Poly” – meaning many and “Ticks” – Blood sucking insects)

YARNLADY's avatar

I did a short search to see if I could find out what fleas are good for and found nothing.

rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

Because scientists do science. Science is about finding things out, not eradicating species or accomplishing particular fantasies of non-scientists.

You want an engineer ;^P

fundevogel's avatar

I feel like I just saw an xkcd on this but now I can’t find it.

rooeytoo's avatar

With all the problems in this world, fleas just don’t seem like they are anywhere near the top of the list of situations that need a solution. Use Comfortis for your critters, it will get rid of the fleas quick smart.

Rarebear's avatar

You’re right. Scientists don’t do anything helpful, ever.

mattbrowne's avatar

Ecosystems are more complicated than simple food chain thinking.

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