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Lasers Succeed in Driving Away Mosquitoes November 11, 2011
Mosquito-laser test image
Mosquitoes will no fly, or even walk, across the laser light 'barrier.'
A novel scheme to repell mosquitoes and combat the diseases they spread with lasers is being funded by the world’s second-richest man.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is giving a $1 million grant to Columbia University’s Szabolcs Marka, who found that a “cone” of light can surround and shield an entire family from the buzzing biters as they sleep.

“We stumbled on this. They (mosquitoes) do walk or fly into it. Then they turn back,” Marka said describing the technique. No one is sure why the wall of light works, but the insects could simply be afraid of it.

The eradication of malaria is one of the primary goals of the Gates Foundation, and Marka’s process could prove to be a cost-effective way of protecting people within a large area.

Photo: Szabolcs Márka