Scientists try to kill Mosquitos with a laser system

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Scientists try to kill Mosquitos with a laser system

Scieentists, some veterans of the US anti-ballistic-missile programme, are working on what they call a "photonic fence" that will use cameras and lasers to detect mosquitoes from a distance and then shoot them down automatically. Solar-powered photonic fences could be installed around homes and other buildings to spare people at least some bites.

Astrophysicist Jordin Kare from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Wood, Myhrvold, and other experts have developed a handheld laser that can locate individual mosquitoes and kill them one by one.

The developers hope that the technology might be used to create a laser barrier around a house or village that could kill or blind the insects. Alternatively, flying drones equipped with anti-mosquito lasers could track the insects with radar and then sweep the sky with the laser.

The researchers are tuning the strength of the laser so that it kills mosquitoes without harming other insects or, especially, people. The system can even distinguish between males and females by the frequency of their wing movements, which may be important since only females spread the parasite.

One question the current research is addressing is just how much power is needed to kill a mosquito. Heating one enough to damage its DNA but not make it smoke, like the one pictured may be sufficient.

Mosquito Shootdown Sequence: Video clips on the link below showing mosquitoes being killed by lasers.

If played in real time, these segments would be roughly 1/10th of a second long. This mosquito has been shot with a laser during tests of a new anti-malaria measure developed by patent portfolio company Intellectual Ventures.


mosquito-shot-with-laser.jpg - 7.23kb
By netchicken: posted on 5-3-2010

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