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Killing mosquitoes with lasers!

Now this is something I can really get behind. It involves lasers (very cool) and killing mosquitoes (the only animal I wish didn’t exist… ok, mosquitoes and fleas). The idea is to stamp out malaria by tracking mosquitoes in flight by IDing them based on their flight/wing noise, and shooting them down using lasers. I think this is great, and it’s much better than spraying thousands of pounds of pesticides everywhere.

Hit by laser

Wings melted

Watch video of the kill!

It can be built with consumer electronics — a Blu-ray player has a blue laser, a laser printer has fast-moving mirror. You can use them around clinics. The shoot 100% organic photons. You can measure wingbeat frequency and size the of flying insect and decide whether it is worth killing. Moore’s law makes technology so cheap we can decide whether or not to kill a bug.

While it looks as if many mosquitoes make it through their encounter with the laser alive, without wings they become totally harmless. Unable to fly to their next meal, they die horribly slow starvation deaths, which seems somehow better than dying a quick death.

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