Mosquitoes to get new adversary soon
Mosquitoes have long plagued mankind from the very beginning, and even dinosaurs were not exempt from their irritatng bites. These tiny bloodsuckers are more annoying than anything else, with their rather stinging bite (for some, anyways) leaving a rather itchy reminder afterwards. In addition, there are some deadly diseases that these insects carry including malaria and dengue fever, and both can be fatal if left untreated with the proper medical care. Mankind has failed to actually combat mosquitoes effectively to date – the best we can do is take some preventive measures and perhaps even get a bug zapper in our home, but that is still no guarantee against a bite. Nice to know human ingenuity has managed to take the fight to another level as researchers in the US are currently hoping to develop a laser system that will zap these tiny bloodsuckers to death.
The idea comes from the Reagan era Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI – also known as Star Wars) concept and miniaturizes it to a level where mosquitoes are neutralized in the same manner that Soviet missiles would have received. This idea was mooted when former Microsoft executive, Nathan Myhrvold,
The technology has already been demonstrated by researchers, where they use light from a series of flashlights to illuminate mosquitoes within a fish tank. These mosquitoes’ silhouettes are then projected onto a reflective material located right behind the tank, where a zoom lens will capture the shadows and send the relevant data to a computer. The computer will then control the laser appropriately while firing it at the bug – non-lethal lasers were used in the demonstration, but the video did show the mosquito burst into flames in a future simulation model when hit by a laser. The laser is also smart enough to tell the difference between male and female mosquitoes, targeting the latter only as they are the ones who feed on our blood while carrying diseases.