Fighting mosquitoes with frickin’ laser beams
Researchers have developed a way to identify, track, and zap the bugs in a split second.
Whether at a barbecue, bonfire, or backcountry camp, you can count on pesky mosquitoes to make their presence known through bothersome buzzes and itchy bites. But they’re worse than annoying: Nearly half a million people a year worldwide die from malaria carried by the critters.
Scientists at Intellectual Ventures Laboratory in Bellevue, Wash., are battling these deadly carriers with the coolest technology possible: lasers.
Using an invisible barrier called the Photonic Fence, researchers have developed a way to identify, track and zap the bugs in a split second.
The invention can also be used to protect crops without pesticides. Best of all, pollinators, people and even flying toddlers stay out of the lasers’ crosshairs — provided you don’t flap your wings at the speed of a mosquito’s.
ReInventors is hosted by Katie Herzog. Each episode features scientists, inventors and tinkerers who are reimagining the basic elements of our everyday lives.