Seattle Scientists Developing Mosquito Laser Gun With Target Lock

Scientists in Seattle are making a laser gun that can lock on to moving targets.  The laser gun is intended to go after mosquitoes, especially those that are carrying malaria.  About 1 million people die per year from malaria carried by mosquitoes.  It is big problem caused by a small creature.

At this year’s TED conference, Bill Gates let loose mosquitoes that he carried in a jar.  Gates did this to make a point that many of us are fortunate that we do not live in areas that are of risk.

The laser is called weapon of mosquito destruction (WMD).  The design was assisted by Lowell Wood, an astrophysicist that worked on the original Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) proposed by Ronal Reagan in 1983.  The SDI was also code named “Star Wars.”

“We like to think back then we made some contribution to the ending of the cold war,” stated Dr. Jordin Kare.  “Now we’re just trying to make a dent in a war that’s claimed a lot more lives.”

The laser detects the audio frequency created by the beating of mosquito wings.  A computer detects the audio and triggers the laser to shoot the mosquito’s wings off.  The mosquito then plops to the ground and doesn’t make it to their prey.  Bill Gates is one of the investors in this project.

This laser could kill billions of mosquitoes every night.

This article was written by Amit Chowdhry. You can follow me at @amitchowdhry or on Google+ at

Seattle Scientists Developing Mosquito Laser Gun With Target Lock Comments

  1. Spindrift says:

    Bovine Fecal Matter! Cool though :-)

  2. Michael Ptak says:

    That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

  3. Michael PKOWWWW says:

    That’s the best thing I’ve ever read.

  4. Philip says:

    when are we gonna learn to just let nature be.
    by killing mosquitoes we’ll probably get some pandemic of bacteria that the mosquitoes used to feed on

    • HAHAHAHA says:

      Mosquitoes, unless you havent notice, EAT PEOPLE. They dont eat bacteria. You may see a drop in bat population, or at least hopefully retards like you. Please, kill yourself.

  5. Sjmarshy says:

    That…could do with a little referencing.
    would be cool if it could be proved to be true.

  6. Nick says:

    @Phillip: We didn’t start this war, nature started it. And, by the grace of science, we’re going to finish it too. If nature wants to quit because she’s losing I say tough titties. FIRE THE LASERBEAM!

  7. pRtkl xLr8r says:

    Yes, I know that they say that it would disturb the food chain were we to wipe out mosquitoes…but honestly, if we lost 4 species of birds, 2 of bats, and 3 of frogs, from doing so, I’d be ok with that kind of collateral damage…

  8. Mike says:

    Yet another “laser beam” project… Seriously though, don’t we have better things to spend our money on than a laser gun that targets mosquitos? Why not instead use it for mass distributions of malaria vaccines or treating those who have contracted it. Or here’s an even better idea, use the money to help clean up the places these mosquitos thrive?

    Besides, do they know for sure that mosquito wing beats have a specific frequency that nothing else has? What if it starts targeting other things….and who’s to say that someone can’t easily change the frequency to target, say, humans?

  9. Nic says:

    @Philip: It used to feed on US! By stopping the death of millions of people, the scientist must please find a place for all of us to live. Someone must die.

  10. max says:

    Haha YEAH bout time! Who gives a crap about those flying bloodsuckers! and killing up to a billion a night is a good night in my book!

  11. arkadije says:

    WTF :0

  12. Beans says:

    @ Mike: unfortuanatly, distributing something we don’t have yet isn’t a very good way of spending money, and already a lot of schemes have been done to prevent them thriving in many areas (ie thin layer of oil on the lake surface).

    They’ll have a fairly narrow range of frequencies that they beat at, and it focuses on the wings because it takes almost no power to severely damage them (think butterfly wings for example), so even if you did change the frequency to attack humans (probably the voicebox or heart), the only effect would be slight warming after a few minutes.

  13. Michael says:

    What happens if someone is in line with the beam and gets hit in the eyes?

  14. Amit Chowdhry says:

    That’d be pretty unfortunate @Michael #15

  15. spellathon says:

    In my opinion, the money should be spent on other useful things.

  16. codydog says:

    all the money for star wars and it finaly can shoot something down

  17. James says:

    So what happens to all the creatures who survive on mosquitos once we eradicate them? We keep destroying parts of nature and then we wonder why nature comes back with bigger and badder things to destroy us.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Anyone who thinks that this type of technology would “eradicate” mosquitos is naive. I seriously doubt anything we could try to do would really and truly wipe out these little bastards. The best we can hope to do is to kill the ones that get too close. I’m sure that’s a small price to pay for someone who has to deal with the threat of malaria every single day.

  19. Colin says:

    Wow, if this is true, it could be awesome. Please reference this, I live in Africa, and malaria is more of a problem here than people realise, because most people who have it can’t afford the medical bills, and so never get diagnosed.

  20. Tod Roberts says:

    Bats do the same thing. For free!!

  21. Scott says:

    How’s this better than a bugzapper? Also, most methods that kill bugs by exploding or frying them is a pretty good way to disseminate (aerosolize) the bacteria contained in/on the bugs. Sometimes that bacteria’s dangerous. I’m not sure what happens to a person who gets aerosolized Malaria blood in her eyes.

  22. rodney king says:

    no mosquitos, no bats. no bats, no batman. is that what you want?

  23. Ken says:

    Let’s get a few things straight:

    First, there is no such thing as an effective malaria vaccine. Once someone is infected, it is quite difficult to eradicate.

    Second, malaria is caused by a parasite (species of Plasmodium), not a bacterium.

    Third, aerosolized Plasmodium would be essentially harmless-it requires a living host.

  24. Hector G Grau says:

    If the project becomes a reality, it will be the best way to destroy those kilers and useless mosquitoes. Congratulations.

  25. nick says:

    I’ma firin’ mah laser!!
    at mosquitos!!

  26. kevin says:

    you know… i have one simple request…and that is to have SHARKS WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS….now evidently… my cycloptic colleague informs me that cant be done. can you remind me what i pay you people for… i mean honestly, throw me a frickin bone here.

  27. Aussie Allan says:

    ZZZZZZZZZip,ZZZZZZZZZZip WOW that thing really works …….hay! Look! a humming bir…oh crap,……….Quick turn it off!or what about capacitor pulse microwave…..POP!..POP!..POPPOP…POP.

  28. Kai says:

    I think that they are missing a few things here. A) Only female mosquitoes drink blood, and that’s only so they can get proteins and iron to develop their eggs. B) Only one type of mosquito carries malaria, the Anopheles mosquito, so targeting all mosquitoes is kinda overkill. C) Mosquitoes POLLINATE PLANTS!!! It would be like killing off bees because they sting people and a lot of people are allergic to bee stings. Mindlessly killing them off could drastically affect the flora of many regions of the world, not to mention the fauna that survive off of mosquitoes (dragonflies, frog larvae, bats, bass, bluegill, catfish, fathead minnows, the western mosquitofish, goldfish, guppies, and killifish.

    So is killing off the mosquitoes really a good idea?

  29. Aussie Allan says:

    Kai,Kai,Kai! If you read between the lines the only practical application for this technology would be around resorts,man portable camping sites and field hospitals, Yes localized land based equipment.Mosquito populations world wide would be in the 100s of billions…… get global coverage ……….hitting a Mosquito from a low orbit laser based satellite is akin to shooting a rabbit on the moon with a bow and arrow.
    this article(The Mozzi Zapper) is about getting people talking and exercising technology and pushing the boundary of Electro and Mechanical sciences .I’m assuming your a biologist or close to this field…….Yes you are right, This would bring about the demise of many species if the idea was total global annihilation ,targeting the very parasite is the magic bullet and many millions is cast into this area already but an answer is unfortunately probably still a long way off. All the people talking…….. you an I included on these sites may one day unlock the answer. Kind Regards

  30. Martin says:

    Why do we feel it’s okay to murder a helpless mosquito? It’s wrong to kill one of earths creatures for any reason. Man should not be in the business of trying to control mother nature.

  31. Aussie Allan says:

    Martin! thank you!………..that was the best laugh I’ve had in years.I think you need to be arrested and tried for mass murder for all the 125,000 dust mites you killed yesterday when you washed your bed sheets and how was the steak you had last night?
    Repent for your sins you bad man you!
    Malaria has killed the entire worlds population several times over in the last 1000yrs,food for thought.

  32. Jost says:

    The worlds population is quite steadily increasing to about 7 bil. According to the article about 1 million every year die from malaria, thats hardly even a fraction of our massively growing population. I just wonder if eradicating a staple in so many food chains, which will have unforeseen consequences to save such a small portion of our population is a good idea.

  33. fluff says:

    I like the whole “leave nature alone!” idea. Unfortunately if you think about it no matter what we do eat, sleep, or just walk around we’re still affecting nature. Think about it if we got rid of all of our “future” technology and started to live in the wild again not growing crops and only eating creatures/plants around us. We’d still be affecting nature. So unless we go find a nice big patch of dirt, dig holes and then bury ourselves in them we will ultimately affect nature no matter what. Although even in burying ourselves we still would be affecting nature. Just my 2 cents on the matter.

  34. Phil E. Drifter says:

    But when do we get sharks with frickin’ laserbeams attached to their heads?

  35. Ashent says:

    This doesn’t make any sense, why are we funding such an abysmal waste of money? I thought we were funding more weapons that target brown people, not nature.

  36. Byron Q says:

    If we can control something, there’s no reason we shouldn’t.

    Mother Nature is a cold, abusive mother. And Martin, you don’t live in an area with mosquitos, do you?

    We need to make nature and the environment our hoes.

  37. Ross says:

    Only female mosquitos bite humans.
    Only female mosquitos make the buzzing noise.

    The buzzing is stated as coming from the wings in this article.
    The buzzing is actually the breathing holes (spiracles) and is done on purpose (like singing). Same for bees and flies. The male mosquito makes no noise but still flies. There are 16 spiracles on one mosquito.

    If someone makes something that can register and analyse that and move a laser quickly and accurately enough it will be very impressive!

    KISS principles would imply that there should be a simpler way, for example, genetically engineering a female that doesn’t need proteins from another animals blood supply to reproduce…

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  39. random concern says:

    yea cool and all till you kill to many of them and some animals actually amazingly use mosquitos as food. then what?

  40. Ukasuy says:

    They pick them up off the ground.

  41. Amit Chowdhry ( says:

    Yup. Easier to catch them that way. Spiders will love this device.

  42. Ukasuy says:

    They pick them up off the ground.

  43. Amit Chowdhry ( says:

    Yup. Easier to catch them that way. Spiders will love this device.

  44. Ukasuy says:

    Until they begin to arm themselves

  45. airsoft says:

    Happy to hear that.Mosquito is a dangerous pest.Many people died through the disease brought by mosquito.

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