‘An Army of Clones’: This Invasive Crayfish Can Self-Clone for Almost Unlimited Copies

What’s going on?

Scientists are fascinated and horrified by a species of crayfish that doesn’t need a mother and a father for eggs to be fertilized. Marbled crayfish can clone themselves: The mother crayfish’s eggs grow into copies of her through parthenogenesis.

“Every single one has the ability to reproduce. Every single one could start a new population,” crustacean researcher Zen Faulkes told The Atlantic.

Stu and Glenn talked about this bizarre science story on today’s show.

Should we be prepared for an invasion?

Maybe not yet, but it doesn’t hurt to be on the lookout! A German aquarium owner first alerted scientists to the existence of the marbled crayfish when he noticed that some “Texas crayfish” he’d purchased were mysteriously filling up the tank.

The marbled crayfish has spread across Europe in recent years and is threatening native crayfish in Madagascar. Just one can produce hundreds of eggs at a time.

Yikes … do we know why this happened?

It’s still a mystery. For the first time, scientists have learned more through sequencing the DNA of the marbled crayfish – of 11 marbled crayfish, to be exact. They were all clones, the progeny of one single crayfish that inexplicably reproduced by self-replicating. Scientists also discovered that the marbled crayfish is triploid, which means that it has three sets of chromosomes.

This article provided courtesy of TheBlaze.

GLENN: Welcome back to the program. You know, we were just talking about these crayfish that are -- have mutated and now they can -- they can have babies without having a male. The women self-fertilize the eggs. And they're taking over Europe. I see this as a movie. A bad 1950s B movie.

STU: They're cloning themselves. Literally cloning -- genetically cloning themselves. And I guess they become popular, aquarium hobbyists in the 1990s. Because they were bigger than the normal ones. And they produce lots of eggs, so you get lots of extras. And they kept producing so many extras, people started freaking out and just bringing them to local lakes and just dumping them into lakes, the extras. And then, of course, obviously, free to roam, they're very resilient, they're able to produce more and more and more. And now they're all over the world. No one knows how to get rid of them, or what to do with them.

GLENN: It's honestly like the -- is it the rabbit population in Australia? Do you know that?

I think it's rabbits, isn't it?

STU: I know one phrase about rabbits that works into the story.

GLENN: I know. But I can't remember how this worked. But somebody brought over I think it was rabbits to Australia. And there was the natural predators were not strong enough. And the rabbit population went crazy and overrun -- I think it's Australia, with rabbits. And it was a real problem over in Australia. Because people -- you know -- the cute little crawfish. But you're taking it out of its natural little habitat. And you're starting to dump it. And it doesn't necessarily have any predators. And in this case, it's genetically cloning itself.

STU: Is that the one where there's like a whole island, where it's just like covered in --

GLENN: I don't know. It might be a book that I read with my kids at night. I don't know.

STU: It's interesting though that they say that the -- about one out of every 10,000 species, this occurs with. There's some mutation. And then the woman -- the lovely woman, she --

GLENN: The craw person.

STU: The craw person is very much says me too and doesn't want to be with the men anymore.

GLENN: Right.

STU: And then she starts having her own clone babies. And I guess it's relatively common.

GLENN: Well, wait. One out of every 10,000. How come we haven't been overrun by whatever it is?

STU: We sadly think the same way. Because I was reading the whole article. Like, wait a minute. We're going to have like 9 feet of crawfish in two weeks. That was the way I was ending this.

GLENN: Right. It's Moore's Law.

STU: Right.

Apparently, they have a very strange life cycle, these species. Because they launch, and they -- like, legitimately they don't know exactly what happened. But about 25 years ago, this is a brand-new species. And it has this huge run where they multiply like crazy. And then they all sort of die out at once.

And what they believe is because they're genetic clones, they're affected by the same things. So when a disease hits one, it hits all of them at once and wipes them all out.

GLENN: That's what happened to the Aztecs.

STU: It's what happens in every space horror movie. Every sci-fi film. I mean, War of the Worlds, right?

GLENN: Yeah. H.G. Wells. He was -- I think he was the first to do it. Where it was the common cold that killed the aliens.

STU: Yeah. And just -- spoiler alert --

GLENN: In case you happen to be in the world of H.G. Wells.


STU: But, yeah, that's what happens. It's kind of crazy. So it's a --

GLENN: So you're saying that diversity is a good thing.

STU: Yeah, I guess.

GLENN: Right? That's what you're saying.

STU: I am. Even around cray people.

GLENN: Around cray people. Crawfish are people too.

STU: They are.

GLENN: That's interesting. Because you would think that maybe -- maybe we would -- maybe we would actually celebrate diversity instead of saying we celebrate diversity. We would actually -- you know what's crazy about this is I guarantee you, when they start to die out, it will be blamed on whoever, the polluters, the planet, or whoever. They will complete dismiss this happened, all the time. And they will start a save the crayfish, you know, fund. And we will have to save -- and people will pour money in. They'll say it's the worst thing ever. And look at what we're doing to these poor crawfish. These are unique crawfish. And they'll spend billions of dollars to try to save them.

STU: Yeah, probably.

GLENN: When it's kind of natural.

In light of the national conversation surrounding the rights of free speech, religion and self-defense, Mercury One is thrilled to announce a brand new initiative launching this Father's Day weekend: a three-day museum exhibition in Dallas, Texas focused on the rights and responsibilities of American citizens.

This event seeks to answer three fundamental questions:

  1. As Americans, what responsibility do we shoulder when it comes to defending our rights?
  2. Do we as a nation still agree on the core principles and values laid out by our founding fathers?
  3. How can we move forward amidst uncertainty surrounding the intent of our founding ideals?

Attendees will be able to view historical artifacts and documents that reveal what has made America unique and the most innovative nation on earth. Here's a hint: it all goes back to the core principles and values this nation was founded on as laid out in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.

Exhibits will show what the world was like before mankind had rights and how Americans realized there was a better way to govern. Throughout the weekend, Glenn Beck, David Barton, Stu Burguiere, Doc Thompson, Jeffy Fisher and Brad Staggs will lead private tours through the museum, each providing their own unique perspectives on our rights and responsibilities.

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About Mercury One: Mercury One is a 501(c)(3) charity founded in 2011 by Glenn Beck. Mercury One was built to inspire the world in the same way the United States space program shaped America's national destiny and the world. The organization seeks to restore the human spirit by helping individuals and communities help themselves through honor, faith, courage, hope and love. In the words of Glenn Beck:

We don't stand between government aid and people in need. We stand with people in need so they no longer need the government

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What happened?

A New York judge ruled Tuesday that a 30-year-old still living in his parents' home must move out, CNN reported.

Failure to launch …

Michael Rotondo, who had been living in a room in his parents' house for eight years, claims that he is owed a six-month notice even though they gave him five notices about moving out and offered to help him find a place and to help pay for repairs on his car.

RELATED: It's sad 'free-range parenting' has to be legislated, it used to be common sense

“I think the notice is sufficient," New York State Supreme Court Judge Donald Greenwood said.

What did the son say?

Rotondo “has never been expected to contribute to household expenses, or assisted with chores and the maintenance of the premises, and claims that this is simply a component of his living agreement," he claimed in court filings.

He told reporters that he plans to appeal the “ridiculous" ruling.

Reform Conservatism and Reaganomics: A middle road?

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

Senator Marco Rubio broke Republican ranks recently when he criticized the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act by stating that “there's no evidence whatsoever that the money's been massively poured back into the American worker." Rubio is wrong on this point, as millions of workers have received major raises, while the corporate tax cuts have led to a spike in capital expenditure (investment on new projects) of 39 percent. However, the Florida senator is revisiting an idea that was front and center in the conservative movement before Donald Trump rode down an escalator in June of 2015: reform conservatism.

RELATED: The problem with asking what has conservatism conserved

The "reformicons," like Rubio, supported moving away from conservative or supply-side orthodoxy and toward policies such as the expansion of the child and earned income tax credits. On the other hand, longstanding conservative economic theory indicates that corporate tax cuts, by lowering disincentives on investment, will lead to long-run economic growth that will end up being much more beneficial to the middle class than tax credits.

But asking people to choose between free market economic orthodoxy and policies guided towards addressing inequality and the concerns of the middle class is a false dichotomy.

Instead of advocating policies that many conservatives might dismiss as redistributionist, reformicons should look at the ways government action hinders economic opportunity and exacerbates income inequality. Changing policies that worsen inequality satisfies limited government conservatives' desire for free markets and reformicons' quest for a more egalitarian America. Furthermore, pushing for market policies that reduce the unequal distribution of wealth would help attract left-leaning people and millennials to small government principles.

Criminal justice reform is an area that reformicons and free marketers should come together around. The drug war has been a disaster, and the burden of this misguided government approach have fallen on impoverished minority communities disproportionately, in the form of mass incarceration and lower social mobility. Not only has the drug war been terrible for these communities, it's proved costly to the taxpayer––well over a trillion dollars has gone into the drug war since its inception, and $80 billion dollars a year goes into mass incarceration.

Prioritizing retraining and rehabilitation instead of overcriminalization would help address inequality, fitting reformicons' goals, and promote a better-trained workforce and lower government spending, appealing to basic conservative preferences.

Government regulations tend to disproportionately hurt small businesses and new or would-be entrepreneurs. In no area is this more egregious than occupational licensing––the practice of requiring a government-issued license to perform a job. The percentage of jobs that require licenses has risen from five percent to 30 percent since 1950. Ostensibly justified by public health concerns, occupational licensing laws have, broadly, been shown to neither promote public health nor improve the quality of service. Instead, they serve to provide a 15 percent wage boost to licensed barbers and florists, while, thanks to the hundreds of hours and expensive fees required to attain the licenses, suppressing low-income entrepreneurship, and costing the economy $200 billion dollars annually.

Those economic losses tend to primarily hurt low-income people who both can't start businesses and have to pay more for essential services. Rolling back occupational licenses will satisfy the business wing's desire for deregulation and a more free market and the reformicons' support for addressing income inequality and increasing opportunity.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality.

Tax expenditures form another opportunity for common ground between the Rubio types and the mainstream. Tax deductions and exclusions, both on the individual and corporate sides of the tax code, remain in place after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Itemized deductions on the individual side disproportionately benefit the wealthy, while corporate tax expenditures help well-connected corporations and sectors, such as the fossil fuel industry.

The favoritism at play in the complex tax code perpetuates inequality. Additionally, a more complicated tax code is less conducive to economic growth than one with lower tax rates and fewer exemptions. Therefore, a simpler tax code with fewer deductions and exclusions would not only create a more level playing field, as the reformicons desire, but also additional economic growth.

A forward-thinking economic program for the Republican Party should marry the best ideas put forward by both supply-siders and reform conservatives. It's possible to take the issues of income inequality and lack of social mobility seriously, while also keeping mainstay conservative economic ideas about the importance of less cumbersome regulations and lower taxes.

Alex Muresianu is a Young Voices Advocate studying economics at Tufts University. He is a contributor for Lone Conservative, and his writing has appeared in Townhall and The Daily Caller. He can be found on Twitter @ahardtospell.

Is this what inclusivity and tolerance look like? Fox News host Tomi Lahren was at a weekend brunch with her mom in Minnesota when other patrons started yelling obscenities and harassing her. After a confrontation, someone threw a drink at her, the moment captured on video for social media.

RELATED: Glenn Addresses Tomi Lahren's Pro-Choice Stance on 'The View'

On today's show, Pat and Jeffy talked about this uncomfortable moment and why it shows that supposedly “tolerant" liberals have to resort to physical violence in response to ideas they don't like.