Posted in: Odd News

Overkill: scientists building laser system to kill mosquitoes. But wait, there’s more!


Scientists in Seattle are developing a laser based attack system that will shoot down mosquitoes.

If that’s not overkill enough, it gets better: the system is based on the Strategic Defense Initiative proposal (Star Wars), the satellite based laser system championed by Ronald Reagan in the 80s, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

But wait, there’s another two twists.

The first one is that astrophysicist who is designing the system is the same astrophysicist who developed the original Star Wars idea. Second: the request to build the laser system came from former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates.

The system is all about combating Malaria. “We like to think back then we made some contribution to the ending of the Cold War. Now we’re just trying to make a dent in a war that’s actually gone on a lot longer and claimed a lot more lives,” said one of the scientists.

OK, I lied, there’s one last twist: the parts used in the mockup of the system were purchased from eBay.

So here’s the short version: Retired defense department scientists working to impress Bill Gates have used cold war technology acquired on eBay to build a laser based offensive system against Mosquitos. You just can’t make this stuff up.

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12 Responses to “Overkill: scientists building laser system to kill mosquitoes. But wait, there’s more!”

  1. KSop

    Although I had to laugh at this, it's actually a rather brilliant idea, and I hope the endeavor will prove fruitful. One thought crosses my mind though, It's probably nothing, but I hope those were not Star Wars components purchased off of ebay.

  2. Uncle B

    With this amazing level of talent loose in the world, one would think the “cheap Oil ” crisis a simple problem and retrieving Mercury from contaminated places, mere child's play! we really need better nuclear reactors, ones that have no waste products and work at low, pressure free, levels and present no danger to the public, and while these geniuses are at it, can they find a more efficient battery for electric cars? We need GMOed food that grows in the back yard, trouble free, for a free vegan diet for all Americans! How about developing a faster more efficient bacteria to reduce sewage to bio-gas and a safe fertilizer sludge? We desperately need a better method for extracting coal from the ground, heat from the coal, and disposal of the ash! A convincing paper on revamping the rail system is in order, since most other countries have taken the lead, and left America with a rail system patterned after 1800's British systems, right down to the width of the cars! Goddamn are we dumb! Mosquitoes are not a big problem in America, the economy is! Where's the intelligentsia when we need a new economic system? Out in Africa killing mosquitoes with lasers for Bill Gates? We are soooo screwed!

  3. Johnathan

    Yes. Eliminating malaria is a fool's errand. What selfish, short-sighted fools who think only for themselves and damn the rest of humanity to death and ruin.

    Oh for the philanthropists of yore! *They* would never set off on such a quixotic endeavor.

    Psh. Malaria. Who did malaria ever hurt. Not like all that other stuff, which is deadly.

  4. walter

    I think that this is a really bad idea i mean i hate mosquitoes as much as the next guy,
    but if we kill off all of them then it will deplete the food source for many animals like bats and many spiders

  5. Lifixs

    In the third world malaria is a serious problem, something those in the first world forget.

    Its a good idea, I just don't know how effective it would be.

    Also its impossible to wipe out mosquito's.

  6. Kai

    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, among others.)

    So is killing off the mosquitoes really a good idea?

  7. wuz

    Well, with surveillance systems including smaller and smaller flying 'bots, soon this may have legitimate military applications.

  8. Ari

    This is exactly what I thought when i read this. We don't know if mosquitoes are a keystone species or not. Lets hope there are other bugs for bats and spiders to eat.

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