Mosquito Laser

The Wall Street Journal reported last week that scientists have finally taken my advice and designed a ruthless mosquito-killing laser that could never ever malfunction and target human children by mistake. Former Lawrence Livermore Science Laboratory researchers have created a laser that aims only at female mosquitoes, using parts that they bought on Ebay (not kidding).

i-b14d5ab4d3d75e12769768170057a647-Mosquito Toes.jpg

Hey, Dr. Strangelove. A little help here?

Lowell Wood, an astrophysicist, is the main force behind the mosquito laser. He was well known for his work on the “Star Wars” defense program of the…

…80’s that sought to shield the U.S. from Soviet missiles with satellites equipped with lasers. He has now turned that very same technology on mankind’s greatest nemesis.

The eventual goal is to create a defense system to stop the spread of malaria, a disease that kills over 1 trillion humans every year***.

The WSJ reported on how the laser in combination with flashlights work when aimed at a fish tank filled with mosquitos:

“To locate individual mosquitoes, light from the flashlights hits the tank across the room, creating tiny mosquito silhouettes on reflective material behind it. The zoom lens picks up the shadows and feeds the data to the computer, which controls the laser and fires it at the bug.”

The computer makes a gunshot noise when the laser scores a direct hit. “We’d be delighted if we destabilize the human-mosquito balance of power,” Jordin Kare, another astrophysicist told the WSJ. Uh…what?

The laser could be used to form a perimeter around a house or village or be outfitted on an unmanned drone that patrolled the sky in a murderous rampage, the scientists are speculating. I would like one implanted in my forehead please.

***Statistics found on Zooillogix are derived from the research of Bleiman & Bleiman Polling and Data Analysis and may not reflect factual representations of the natural world.

Thanks to NVD, my eyes and ears on the streets!


  1. #1 Matthew Platte
    March 24, 2009

    You know it’s a good story when you see the words, “…a saucer of goat blood.”

  2. #2 bug_girl
    March 24, 2009

    I covered this at the bug blog:

    Personally, I think right now it’s more hype than reality.
    Like, you know….the missile defense system?

  3. #3 EricJuve
    March 24, 2009

    I have an idea for a bug zapper using lasers. Senda low power laser beam spaced about 1/16 of an inch along the ceiling. This beam is detected and if interrupted, a coaxial beam from an appropriately sized power laser fires and vaporizes whatever critter broke the sensing beam. I check e-bay once in a while to see if there is a cheap power laser available but they are always more than I want to spend. I guess the black line that would eventually form on the ceiling could be a downside, but it would be entertaining if you had enough bugs.

  4. #4 Joannah
    March 25, 2009

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  5. #5 milkshake
    March 25, 2009

    he has to deny them his precious bodily fluids


  6. #6 Doug Alder
    March 25, 2009

    The comment by :Posted by: Joannah | March 25, 2009 1:05 AM: is comment spam – posted by a bot not a live person.

  7. #7 Frank Anderson
    March 25, 2009

    I can’t imagine we will figure out a way anytime soon to zap a nontrivial number of mosquitoes from any distance (while minimizing the death toll of other flying critters) when we still haven’t mastered taking down a single large ICBM that’s moving in a nice, fairly straight path.

    But my skepticism does not, in any way, make lasers any less cool.

  8. #8 Anna
    March 25, 2009

    All I can say is outch!
    Anna 🙂

  9. #9 Curious
    March 26, 2009

    And how time until the research team develops one Jehovah´s Witnesses sized zapper?

  10. #10 milkshake
    March 26, 2009

    you don’t need to zap Jehovists. Just tell them you are a Mormon and they leave you in a hurry; it works every time.

  11. #11 Sarah
    April 3, 2009

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  12. #12 Hiphop
    June 19, 2009

    pis adamsin

  13. #13 Qodes
    June 19, 2009

    bu sitenin comments kismi delirtcek beni

  14. #14 of
    June 19, 2009

    yirmi yedi

  15. #15 sex partner
    December 10, 2010

    i know no one cares about this, but i think ice age was definitely not a pixar film. it was some other animation lab which i think has about the same amount of talent as pixar’s pinky.

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