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BugZappers

Page history last edited by Charlene 9 years, 5 months ago

p 262

Hydrosphere "At least the bee zapper was working. For years their hives had been under siege by africanised swarms.

[...]

...a few weeks ago, Clair had discovered a net reference by a fellow in Egypt, who'd discovered that the african variety beat their wimgs faster than the tame european variety. Burrowing into archaic twencen military technology, he had adapted a sensor-scanner designs from an old defunct project called 'Star Wars'.

[...]

Like a glittering scarecrow, the cruciform laser system watched over her squat hives. When she had first turned it on, the surrounding fields had come startlingly alight with hundreds of tiny , flaming embers. The next morning, ash smudges were all that were left of the vicious invaders... but her own honeybees were untouched."


Status

Confirmed

 

Reality

Astonishingly, someone has just tested such a system , on mosquitoes!

 

It may seem like an overkill, but such a system has two advantages over the traditional 'DDT' approach:

  • it is discriminatory (ie tuneable to a particular pest. How tuneable is still to be determined: some wags mention congress critters)
  • it is *not* persistent.

 

The latter is important: there are enough bugs involved already without the software variety getting in on the act.

 

An excerpt:

"A quarter-century ago, American rocket scientists proposed the "Star Wars" defense system to knockout Soviet missiles with laser beams. They are now aiming their lasers at another airborne threat: the mosquito. In a Seattle lab, researchers watched a  glass box of bugs. Every few seconds, a contraption 100 feet away shot a beam that hit buzzing mosquitoes, one by one, with a spot of red light. This particular test used a non-lethal laser. But the Cold War missile-defense strategy will soon be reborn as a WMD: Weapon of Mosquito Destruction. [...] Technology might one day draw a laser barrier around a house or village that could kill or blind the bugs...."

 

"...Not only can the laser target a mosquito, it can also tell a male from a female based on wing-beat."

 

Update: as of February 16th 2010 the Intellectual Ventures Lab is producing a system they are calling a Photonic Fence, which shoots down mosquitoes in as a method of preventing the spread of Malaria.

 

References

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