Shooting down mosquitos with laser beams

tie-mosquitoRemember Reagan and his infamous Star Wars Defense Initiative? 25 years ago, scientists suggested that the U.S. build a network of laser equipped satellites to knock down Soviet missiles out of the sky. While that idea never really took off, the technology is currently being re-purposed to shoot down mosquitoes.

Seriously, the scientists that came up with the SDI are currently working to create a system that will take out mosquito’s instead of nuclear missiles. Intended to used to fight malaria, the laser system is being financed by some “big money” people like Bill Gates, the UN and several non-profit organizations.

The laser was recently demonstrated in Seattle, and while the beam didn’t actually kill the mosquito (it was a non-lethal version) it did accurately fire a beam and hit the mosquitoes from a distance of about 100 feet away.

I love this idea. The ultimate bug zapper – no more waiting for them to come to you. Even better, malaria is responsible for killing about a million people a year, and if this can be made to fight that epidemic, it would be a really great use of a cold war technology.

[via DailyTech]