Seattle Scientists Developing Mosquito Laser Gun With Target Lock

By Amit Chowdhry • Mar 15, 2009

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 a 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. And the SDI was also codenamed “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.

Hypothetically, this laser could kill billions of mosquitoes every night.