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This content will become publicly available on July 1, 2023

Title: Engineered AAVs for non-invasive gene delivery to rodent and non-human primate nervous systems
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Page Range or eLocation-ID:
2242 to 2257.e6
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Classic biological control of pest non-marine molluscs has a long history of disastrous outcomes, and despite claims to the contrary, few advances have been made to ensure that contemporary biocontrol efforts targeting molluscs are safe and effective. For more than half a century, malacologists have warned of the dangers in applying practices developed in the field of insect biological control, where biocontrol agents are often highly host-specific, to the use of generalist predators and parasites against non-marine mollusc pests. Unfortunately, many of the lessons that should have been learned from these failed biocontrol programs have not been rigorously applied to contemporary efforts. Here, we briefly review the failures of past non-marine mollusc biocontrol efforts in the Pacific islands and their adverse environmental impacts that continue to reverberate across ecosystems. We highlight the fact that none of these past programs has ever been demonstrated to be effective against targeted species, and at least two (the snails Euglandina spp. and the flatworm Platydemus manokwari) are implicated in the extinction of hundreds of snail species endemic to Pacific islands. We also highlight other recent efforts, including the proposed use of sarcophagid flies and nematodes in the genus Phasmarhabditis, that clearly illustrate the falsemore »claims that past bad practices are not being repeated. We are not making the claim that biocontrol programs can never be safe and effective. Instead, we hope that in highlighting the need for robust controls, clear and measurable definitions of success, and a broader understanding of ecosystem level interactions within a rigorous scientific framework are all necessary before claims of success can be made by biocontrol advocates. Without such amendments to contemporary biocontrol programs, it will be impossible to avoid repeating the failures of non-marine mollusc biocontrol programs to date.« less