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Page history last edited by Charlene 10 years, 2 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."





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.



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