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Light Barrier Repels Mosquitoes

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the raise-shields dept.

Medicine 135

kodiaktau writes "Dr. Szabolcs Marka has received one of five $1M grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue his experiments with using light beams to create mosquito barriers. This is the second grant he has received from the foundation and proves to be a deviation from the previous and more dangerous use of lasers to control mosquitoes. A video of the light barrier in action can be seen here"

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135 comments

[Citation Needed] - laser mosquito control danger (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931100)

What was it about the laser mosquito control that was dangerous? I can't find anything on this in either TFA or Google.

Obviously, we all fear lasers are just dangerous in general, especially if they're powerful enough to vaporize something as substantial as a structural portion of a mosquito's wing. But that system was supposed to be precise enough to tell what species and gender of mosquito it was looking at; that didn't sound to me like it was going to be a real eye hazard. So I presume there was some other risk that's less obvious?

If not, I believe this is an example of "begging the question", or something very close to it.

Re:[Citation Needed] - laser mosquito control dang (0)

justforgetme (1814588) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931756)

AFAIK the laser app was the same ass the light app only that it used a laser to create the barrier itself and therefore needed a higher power laser beam. That makes eye injury from beams reflected off of shiny surfaces a possibility.
This app uses the laser only for marking the protected volume which is doable with a "safe" low power beam.

Anyway, I'm so buying two dozen of these when they come to market!

Adaptation... (3, Interesting)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931110)

Won't the mosquitoes just adapt to ignore this 'barrier'?

I figure this will work for a year or so, tops. The evolutionary rewards for getting past it are huge.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

jovius (974690) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931182)

It depends how important a resource humans are for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes have not learnt to bite through nets either or stand insect repellants.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Narcocide (102829) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931230)

Never seen repellant-resistant mosquitoes have ya? Clearly you've never lived near swamp land. I'll give you the rest of that point though.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931344)

Never seen repellant-resistant mosquitoes have ya? Clearly you've never lived near swamp land. I'll give you the rest of that point though.

I won't. Evolution doesn't do massive steps, only small ones.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932312)

I won't.

Just search "repellant-resistant mosquitoes" on Google. That's not very complex. And you will learn a lot, such as how many generations are needed for insects to adapt to a repellent.

Evolution doesn't do massive steps, only small ones.

Where did you read that exactly? Are you a creationist trying to discredit evolution? It sure looks like you are. That, and the fact that you make the assumption that adapting to a repellent is a massive step. How did you get there?

Anyways, your argument is sufficiently discredited by facts to spend times arguing about it.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934060)

Um, the 'rest of the point' was about nets, not repellents.

I don't think evolution can do a single step big enough to give mosquitoes ability get through a net.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934408)

As far as I can parse English, you were responding to the "Never seen repellant-resistant mosquitoes have ya?"

Answering "I won't" to "I'll give you the rest of that point though." makes no sense to me.

Re:Adaptation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931678)

Since they're able to feed on anything with blood (cattle, dogs, cats, rodents etc) it probably won't affect their diet too much.

Re:Adaptation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933288)

You've clearly not been to India.

Re:Adaptation... (3, Insightful)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931186)

You could make evolution work for you by putting death traps behind light barriers at mosquito breeding grounds.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

symes (835608) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933074)

I like this idea a lot but would like to have the light barrier as the death trap. We need more lasers in the world. With the advantage that mosquitos might evolve to avoid all forms of light, including romantic candle light.

Re:Adaptation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37935620)

Hand in your man card at the exit on your way out there, thanks for coming.

Re:Adaptation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37935812)

Either that or they become immune to lasers.

Re:Adaptation... (5, Insightful)

Solandri (704621) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931280)

If people were the main source of nourishment for mosquitoes, then yes. But they're not. If you use this to discourage mosquitoes from biting humans, they will happily get blood from other animals, resulting in no evolutionary pressure to pass light barriers.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931356)

Fruits and nectars are the main source of nourishment for mosquitoes. They only need the blood to make eggs.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931804)

Which, if I am not mistaken, is the same as saying "they need blood to survive."

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932314)

Which, if I am not mistaken, is the same as saying "they need blood to survive as a species."

FTFY.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934140)

The ability to reproduce is even more important that the survival of an individual in some species. There are insect species that don't even seek nourishment as an adult.

Re:Adaptation... (2)

N0Man74 (1620447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934022)

You're on Slashdot. You should realize by now that reproductive activities aren't required for survival (for the individual member of a species).

Re:Adaptation... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931322)

I didn't know mosquitos bothered sharks.

Re:Adaptation... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931428)

And I've never seen sharks so pissed. Until now. And now ... it's WAR.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931712)

There are other methods of adaptation than circumventing another barrier. There are so many species of animals who are not nearly as resilient in defending against mosquitoes as humans, and provide perfectly good blood. Mosquitoes can just adapt by choosing not to bite humans and pick easier victims instead.

Re:Adaptation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931738)

> Won't the mosquitoes just adapt to ignore this 'barrier'?
Animals are easier targets. Let's hope at least about 100 years.

Hungarian scientists in the news. Yeah!

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932014)

Nope, They have not evolved to adapt to the spraying of Garlic oil for mosquito control over the past 200 years, so It's highly doubtful that they will get together and rapidly evolve to overcome this. They also have not evolved to defeat the highly effective mosquito traps.

Contrary to your belief, they do not have a science council or war council to work on their war against humanity. and evolution takes a lot more time.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932756)

Contrary to your belief, they do not have a science council or war council to work on their war against humanity.

I suggest you moving to a tropical country. Then you will be quite sure that they do. Probably in conspiracy with all annoying light seeking insects that go out in the summer.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 2 years ago | (#37935688)

Contrary to your belief, they do not have a science council or war council to work on their war against humanity. and evolution takes a lot more time.

+5 for the mental image. :)

Re:Adaptation... (3, Interesting)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932156)

Depends. I built fences for farms for a while. One of the things the older folk told me was that you cannot build a perfect anti-deer fence so they settled for a three to five foot fence normally. They had tails of deer jumping these electrified fences. Once they had a deer jump "through" the individuals wires to get inside.

Why were these easily bypassed fences used? They weren't to stop deer, but discourage them. One farmer builds a fence, the deer go to his neighbor. His neighbor builds a fence, they move to the next least annoying place to go. May sound harsh, but the deer here were reintroduced from a non-native variety from the Mid-west. Only in the last ten-twenty years have the natural predators began making enough of a comeback to control the population beyond hunting season.

The mosquitos will likely the same. A few might adapt, but since this isn't killing the non-adpators there won't be any genetic favor towards the adapters. A percentage of mosquitoes is better than the current amount.

Re:Adaptation... (3, Funny)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932344)

They had tails of deer jumping these electrified fences.

You built fences that would rip the tails off of deer that attempted to jump over them? How cruel!

Oh, you meant tales. Nevermind.

Re:Adaptation... (1)

eugene ts wong (231154) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932698)

I'm glad that you said that. I literally had no clue that he meant that. I assumed that tails had ripped off. I assumed that the electrified fences must have had barbs on them that somehow snagged the deer. I know. It's crazy, but it never dawned on me that he misspelled something.

That's why I hate it when people don't bother proof reading and using dictionaries for spell checks.

IR = heat (3, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931124)

Most insects are very heat sensitive and will die quickly when temperatures are elevated. So I suppose the mozzies see the IR light as a dangerous threat and move away.

IR != heat (3, Interesting)

subreality (157447) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931906)

IR is a very broad spectrum. They don't say what the wavelength is, but I'd expect they're using near-IR, which is cheap, widely-available laser technology. Do you feel warm when you cover the front of an infrared remote? Near IR isn't a strong heat carrier unless you're pushing a LOT of photons... In which case this isn't a safe alternative to the high power bug-zapping lasers used in those wonderful videos.

Far-IR lasers [wikipedia.org] are expensive, inefficient, finicky machines. They're not the sort of thing you'd deploy to fight malaria.

In between there's a whole lot of spectrum, but really, I think it's most likely they're using near IR, the mosquitoes see it, and for whatever reason they don't want to cross.

Re:IR != heat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932460)

Sure, it's not the energy carried by the IR light here that's important, but a hot object (by nature's standards) will be emitting most strongly in the mid or near infra-red. Doing some basic calculations with Wien's law, humans at ~310K have peak emissions at ~10um light, which is Mid-IR. Meanwhile, objects at ~3000k will thus be ~1um, which I think is around what standard commercial IR sources use (such as the Nintendo Wii, somewhere around 900nm). So it seems reasonable that the insect may interpret this rise in Near-IR light as an approach to an object at a few thousand Kelvin, which it would want to avoid.

IR != heat (plus definition) (1)

bityz (2011656) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933794)

heat = the energy of a large number of particles & heat = how it feels when the particles are you.

And how much to plug it in? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931130)

These people don't have an outlet to keep away the mosquitoes with a nightlight...
They do not even have enough clean water to drink.

Handing out $1,000,000? I'll take some.
And like the "death laser mosquito killer" is coming to a backyard near you soon. Yea right.

Re:And how much to plug it in? (1)

ThorGod (456163) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931166)

These people don't have an outlet to keep away the mosquitoes with a nightlight....

They'll shoot a satellite up into orbit and beam the light down evenly across all of Africa so that nobody has to pay. ...oh, right.

(I had the same question...)

Re:And how much to plug it in? (1)

Issarlk (1429361) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932070)

That's why other people are busy trying to find ways to give these people electicity, like cheap solar installation with batteries for example.

Re:And how much to plug it in? (1)

muon-catalyzed (2483394) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932086)

> These people don't have an outlet

That is all part of the plan. Those 'potential African customers' have no access to electricity, no PC, so they will not be able to buy Windows anyway. Now, this might speed up the much needed electrification!

Tennis Racket Bug Zappers instead? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931212)

Gee, $1M could sure buy a lot of these: http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Operated-Tennis-Racket-Shaped/dp/B003U55W6Y [amazon.com]

And Mr Gates could certainly strong arm a much better price out of the supplier, or just buy the manufacturer.

The downside is that once in your hand, you cannot remove the racket, and are forced to buy upgrades.

"A Tennis Racket Bug Zapper For Every Child!"

Re:Tennis Racket Bug Zappers instead? (1)

Dot.Com.CEO (624226) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931740)

Say what you want of Bill Gates and his business tactics, but his foundation's work on eliminating malaria is truly amazing. Give credit where credit's due, sir, even though you may not like the guy.

Ever since the demise of Dr Evil (1)

maroberts (15852) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931214)

The unemployment rate of sharks has been extremely high.

Thanks to the research above, sharks with frikin' lasers attached to their heads can be first in line for this new job sector. I am sure Sharks everywhere express their gratitude to Bill and Melinda for funding the research which opens new opportunity vistas for unemployed sharks who are at risk of descending into a life of crime through underuse of their talents.

Re:Ever since the demise of Dr Evil (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931268)

And it opens the door for mosquitos with frikin' lasers!!! I mean come on, everyone knows sharks can't move around too well on land or in the air... but mosquitos with frikin' lasers... EVERYONE PANIC NOW!!!

What happened to... (1)

xenobyte (446878) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931220)

The genetic solution to fighting the malaria mosquitoes?

If I remember correctly, one focused on making the mosquito deadly to malaria (thus stopping the transmission), the other on simply wiping out the mosquito without harming other insect life.

The most efficient solution so far has been to blanket ponds and similar with DDT... Killed everything, including the mosquitoes. Tiny side-effect there though...

Re:What happened to... (1)

adolf (21054) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931838)

Yeah. I guess some scientist somewhere determined that some bird eggs had thinner shells in areas treated with DDT, than some other bird eggs in other areas that were not treated with DDT.

IIRC, no attempt was made beyond simple correlation to explain these presumably-valid observations.

And then, -poof-, no more DDT.

But at least we've still got mosquitoes, malaria and bed bugs.

how about low-tech (1)

yanyan (302849) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931250)

Great research.

But this seems to me like overkill. A mosquito net works and is proven and costs very very little.

And hey, there actually already are charitable initiatives for this. http://www.nothingbutnets.net/ [nothingbutnets.net]

1M from the Gates Foundation could probably buy enough mosquito nets to cover the whole of Africa.

Re:how about low-tech (1)

dotancohen (1015143) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931270)

Great research. But this seems to me like overkill. A mosquito net works and is proven and costs very very little.

No, you don't understand. The researcher specifically mentions that the laser divides space into two parts, and that the mosquitoes cannot move from one part of the space to the other. Do you really think that a simple net could divide space into two parts?

Re:how about low-tech (2)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932430)

1M from the Gates Foundation could probably buy enough mosquito nets to cover the whole of Africa.

Mosquito nets are well known and have been widely available for 50+ years. If $1M in nets would wipe out malaria in Africa, it would have happened by now.

I think you're glossing the inefficiencies involved in distributing anything to "the whole of Africa" - the administrative costs alone in distributing something as simple as a "LiveStrong" armband to every person in Africa (or even just those who are at risk of malaria from mosquito bites) would exceed $1M.

Re:how about low-tech (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 2 years ago | (#37935276)

I think you're glossing the inefficiencies involved in distributing anything to "the whole of Africa" - the administrative costs alone in distributing something as simple as a "LiveStrong" armband to every person in Africa (or even just those who are at risk of malaria from mosquito bites) would exceed $1M.

Which is to day, eliminating malaria is not a technical problem at all. Malaria used to be common where I live now, back in the 1800's. But improved sanitation fixed that over a century ago. An engineering student I know recently commented, "We have a design project on clean water for the developing world, but if you look at it for a few minutes you realize it isn't an engineering problem. You don't need any technology the Romans didn't have."

What the developing world is lacking is not technology or tech-savvy people, but the rule of law.

Re:how about low-tech (1)

rocket rancher (447670) | more than 2 years ago | (#37935000)

Great research.

But this seems to me like overkill. A mosquito net works and is proven and costs very very little.

And hey, there actually already are charitable initiatives for this. http://www.nothingbutnets.net/ [nothingbutnets.net]

1M from the Gates Foundation could probably buy enough mosquito nets to cover the whole of Africa.

Take a longer view. I'm looking forward to the day when this laser barrier is considered "low tech." Pure research is expensive, and even applied research that beats the odds and has a payoff down the road still requires significant seed funds. Purchasing mosquito nets for people who can't afford them is a worthy charitable endeavor (thank you for making me aware of it; I just donated the cost of ten nets) and allows people of any financial means to participate in helping to deal with the immediate problem. Organizations like the The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that have significant financial means can target more permanent solutions by providing funding for targeted research.

Re:how about low-tech (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 2 years ago | (#37935852)

but a mosquito net does not require the use of Microsoft Windows as I'm sure these lasers would likely require embedded Windows at the very least. Remembering that Gates was recently shown to have terminated the Courier project because it did not lock^H^H^Hintegrate with MS Office nor MS Exchange.

LoB

Waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931306)

Seriously? Many of the people at risk are in poverty and don't have electricity. And why use additional electricity, when one of the greatest problems we face today is global warming...

Just use the millions of dollars to distribute cheap and environmentally friendly mosquito nets!

Re:Waste of money (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931424)

And why use additional electricity, when one of the greatest problems we face today is overpopulation...

Fixed that for you. Global warming is a symptom. It's not the disease. Cut the population in 1/7th and we can pollute to our heart's content with a negligible impact on our environment. Double the population and we all have to pollute half as much as we do today just to maintain the status quo (yeah - like that's going to happen). Quadruple the population and we're fucked. Who is going to cut their electricity use or consumption to 1/4 of what it is today - just to maintain the destructive status quo?

Re:Waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932054)

Cut the population in 1/7th and we can pollute to our heart's content

So... lets kill those we don't like. and let those who cannot survive properly die off...? Let 90% of 99% to their own device and we get those numbers down!!

Re:Waste of money (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932092)

The sensible argument is to be cautious and conscious about our breeding instead of advocating mass murder. There really is no excuse for couples to have dozens of children nowadays. However mass death will happen whether we like it or not if we just ignore this issue. Disease, famine and war for ever more limited resources is simply not going to ask our permission before killing us.

Re:Waste of money (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932388)

NPR had a report [npr.org] this morning about countries paying mothers to have kids because of declining fertility rates. It was all in the name of economics and not having your country die out. Silly Jingoism!

bugs suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931312)

bugs suck
lazes are awesome

And In Other News... (2)

hyades1 (1149581) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931366)

Several Winnipeg mosquitoes demonstrated their opinion of the "Light Wall" under a large banner that read, "Prototypes welcome, Einstein. Why do you think megafauna are extinct."

Some wore sunglasses and lounged on what appeared to be small beach towels. Others sported t-shirts reading "I gotcher emitter right here".

The dessicated remains of a grizzly bear had been propped up nearby, its dead paws holding a crudely-lettered piece of cardboard that read, "I never shoulda said "Suck This" .

Further developments are expected next spring with the hatching of a new generation of the worst bloodsucking parasites to be found outside Parliament.

Will not work (1)

stooo (2202012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931394)

Mosquitos in Africa are faar more agressie. They will just go through after a short time.

Independent evaluations of mosquito repellents (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931406)

The risk is imminent that these methods are as much scam as most previous methods, however well meant they may be.

For a really nice overview and analysis of electronic mosquito repellents, please see http://eprints.liv.ac.uk/665/1/Enyati_electronic_mosquito_repellents.pdf [liv.ac.uk]

Here is the summary:

"Electronic mosquito repellents for preventing mosquito bites and malaria infection
Malaria is a major health problem that particularly affects people living in sub-Saharan Africa and other tropical parts of the world. It
often causes considerable morbidity and mortality especially in children under ve. It is transmitted by mosquito bites from infected
female mosquitoes. Several strategies and approaches are available for preventing mosquito bites and malaria infection, including
repellents, and these approaches will be considered by those living in affected areas and by travellers to areas where there is high risk
of infection. Electronic mosquito repellents (EMRs) are designed to repel female mosquitoes by emitting high-pitched sounds almost
inaudible to the human ear. EMRs are claimed by their manufacturers to be effective in repelling mosquitoes and preventing disease.
No randomized controlled trials were found, but 10 eld studies looking at the number of mosquitoes caught on the bare body parts
of humans were assessed. These studies were conducted in various parts of the world with different species of mosquitoes and were
controlled for factors such as locality and timing. One study used just one observer with seven observations, while the highest assessment
included 18 observers with 324 observations. There was no evidence in the eld studies to support any repelling effects of EMRs, hence
no evidence to support their promotion or use. Future randomized controlled trials are not proposed as there was no suggestion in the
eld studies that EMRs show any promise as a preventive measure against malaria."

Gates uses his money for good research. Still, that article does show that Gates needs to have several independent evaluators, unknown to each other, too.

Re:Independent evaluations of mosquito repellents (1)

wvmarle (1070040) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931474)

You're trying to compare a repellent method using light, with one using sound. Totally different medium (light vs sound), totally different method (chasing away vs. setting up a barrier).

And I may assume Bill Gates is smart enough to have some people evaluate these projects for him. Note that TFA mentions that this is the second grant this project receives; and that many other projects did get first grant, but no second. That means they have been evaluating, and have concluded this one has merit.

Re:Independent evaluations of mosquito repellents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931880)

"You're trying to compare a repellent method using light, with one using sound."

No, my intention was to show that the scientific reliability differed radically between a dozen different studies using one method. From what I can tell, the experiment design is a seriously crucial factor.

"Note that TFA mentions that this is the second grant this project receives; and that many other projects did get first grant, but no second. That means they have been evaluating, and have concluded this one has merit."

Yes, agreed, but since there is so much money involved, I would be paranoid, and still let a second and third set of evaluators evaluate both my evaluators and what they evaluate. That is me, micromanaging... :)

Solving the malaria issue would be so important, and it mustn't fail.

Superluminal Insects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931468)

Well it's good to know that mosquitoes aren't going to become our FTL overlords any time soon.

No feedback (1)

bWareiWare.co.uk (660144) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931490)

Even if you could make these small, low power, and most importantly cheep enough, and even if the mosquitoes can't adapt. This has the fundamental problem that anything that casts a shadow in the beam is undetectable to humans, yet renders the device worthless.

Re:No feedback (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931618)

Not to mention the case where a mosquito gets blown into the protected region and can't get out, so it bites you 1000x while you sleep.

Re:No feedback (1)

demonlapin (527802) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932028)

Go to 1:42 in the video. They pair the IR mosquito repellent with a low-powered visible laser to mark the protected area.

Light Barrier Repels Mosquitoes (2)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931588)

I read the title as there being some breed of supra-light mozzies who were being upset by the speed of light limitation. Still, if that CERN work on possible FTL particles pans out, they'll be all happy again.

Re:Light Barrier Repels Mosquitoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37931640)

You were not the only one. Too much science fiction warps your brain.

FTL Mosquitoes? (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#37931698)

Are they repelled, or just mildly annoyed.
Also, they should incorporate UV light as a secondary feature so your can be mosquito free while tanning.

now if only... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932082)

they could come up with a light barrier to keep the homeless from in front of my shop doorway; i'm tired of flushing the sidewalk every morning

electric rackets work great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37932122)

The one thing that works great is electric rackets : they're (german patented?) device with a size half-way between a tennis racket and a ping pong racket. They're made of parallel solide "wires" with a space between them. They get charged with electricity and everytime something gets close to two wires, the energy is discharged and the mosquito goes EOL.

I go on vacation in a place very, very problematic regarding mosquitoes. My room as a full net deployed so I can leave the door open without having mosquitoes get in. Then I also have several of these electric rackets around the house. Instead of using a net (that's too gentle for the mosquito), I've considered building a door-sized equivalent of the racket: this not only would prevent them from getting in but would also kill every single mosquito touching the device.

editors? (1)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932240)

1) "proves to be a deviation from" = is different than
2) how was the former use of lasers to down mosquitos 'dangerous'? I never saw anything about any observed or postulated danger to people unless they happen to vibrate precisely at the frequency of a female mosquito's wings?

Stop targeting airplanes bla bla bla (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932376)

This is awesome. I'm tired of letters complaining about my sketer killer accidentally targeting planes. I hope some specs come out soon.

Meme recognition contest of the morning: (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 2 years ago | (#37932408)

So, why don't sharks get mosquito bites?

Re:Meme recognition contest of the morning: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934752)

Professional courtesy?

It is more like decoys than barrier. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933388)

The mosquitoes find their prey/victims/hosts through a combination of temperature and humidity trails in the air. These IR beam heat the air and create the signature of a host where there is none. Mosquitoes fly toward these beams due to heat signature, gets confused by the lack of humidity signature, gets scared and stop and go back.

I always thought it would be a good mosquito trap to heat a small bowl of water at 98.4 degrees and surround it with fly paper or something. May be the next version would use a decoy humidity signature generator and steer the mosquitoes to the trap.

Open air (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933488)

Please put these in my home's windows so that I can leave them open without screens all summer long like I'm living in Hawaii!

i used light for ages and didnt realize (1)

kangsterizer (1698322) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933708)

ive a certain type of light here that i use to repel mosquitos. ive done it for a while and it works very well. whenever i turn it on they all got away from the scope of the light.
it seems that it needs to be a on certain light wave to work. it doenst need to be invisible to humans, but it helps sleeping i guess.
I'm also guessing mosquitos adapt and eventually wander through the light. Some of them are at my place as ive been using it for a long time. its rare tho, but, i guess eventually more of them will adapt.

i though it was more or less a common trick. if only i realized it was worth $1M. life sux!

Power Source? (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933796)

The people this solves the problem for don't even have clean running water. Where the hell are they supposed to plug this in with no electricity? Not to mention the price of the device plus generators and human/crank battery chargers.

Talk about over-engineering the solution!

So this is how level 1 force field is born. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37933864)

Fingers crossed.

My hero (1)

Mike (1172) | more than 2 years ago | (#37933966)

Anyone who invents a non-carcinogenic method of repelling mosquitoes 100% effectively will be my hero for life.

Re:My hero (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37936038)

Anyone who invents a non-carcinogenic method of repelling mosquitoes 100% effectively will be my hero for life.

Set yourself on fire. Non-carcinogenic and will repel 100% of bugs.

Might not be what you're looking for though.

lasers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37934186)

Why not use fricken lasers on bats?

It's not nice to fool Mother Nature (1)

RogueWarrior65 (678876) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934448)

As crass as it sounds, the unintended consequence of this will be a massive population explosion in tropical third-world countries who will all need resources. A nice pandemic will go a long way to reducing humans' impact on the planet.

Re:It's not nice to fool Mother Nature (1)

nedlohs (1335013) | more than 2 years ago | (#37935086)

I trust you lead the way by not having any vaccinations and refusing any medical treatment invented in the last 3000 years.

Bring'em on! (1)

yog (19073) | more than 2 years ago | (#37934880)

Oh, I can't wait for the day when mosquito zappers not only really work, but are inexpensive wearable accessories! I hate mosquitoes. I would love to have something in my hat, or belt buckle, or shoes, that is constantly scanning for mosquito-shaped flying objects and zapping them with miniscule lasers. Also, some kind of IR-equipped zapper hanging over the bed would be nice.

I think we should pour billions of dollars into mosquito extermination research. Sure, it may mess up the food chain a bit, but I frankly don't care. Let those birds, frogs, and dragonflies eat something else. Plenty of other buggies out there.

Eventually, I think we will have a sort of artificial dragonfly which will tirelessly hunt and kill mosquitoes around the house and yard. It will recharge on solar energy.

But real dragonflies should not be disregarded either. A dragonfly will eat many times its weight in mosquitoes every day, and it preys on both the larval stage of mosquitoes and the flying stage. Dragonflies are very skillful fliers. If you see lots of dragonflies near a pond, darting and diving in the air, they are your friends and are eliminating bloodsucking parasites for you.

A fun fact: prehistoric dragonflies grew to as large as 30 inch wingspans (based on known fossils).

Intellectual Ventures' patent troll laser fence (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37935348)

IV will probably never make their photonic fence. They're just waiting to sue anyone else who wants to proceed with it. Both of these systems could make our lives mosquito free. I'm so glad there's an alternative to Intellectual Ventures' system that may actually see production!

Just Shoot 'em Down! Reagan's Star Wars Lives! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37935500)

WTF have we developed the "Star Wars" technology for, if not to shoot down evil malaria- and dengue-ridden mosquitoes?

I, for one, welcome the arrival of a portable automatic mosquito-blasting laser system. Even better would be one that automatically tracked and illuminated the target and, upon my command, blasted it!

His Other Inventions (1)

ohnocitizen (1951674) | more than 2 years ago | (#37936144)

“Wherever I look I see new ideas and possibility for progress,” he says. “Some turn out to be impossible, some are prohibited by the economy, but some do work. These are worth thinking of.”

I wonder what ideas he's had he felt were prohibited by the economy.

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