back to article Bill Gates drops $1m on laser-based malaria fighter

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded a $1m grant to an astrophysicist developing a laser-based solution to a decidedly terrestrial problem: malaria-spreading mosquitoes. "I wanted to apply my astrophysics, optics, laser expertise towards some humanitarian goal that can help people," says Columbia University …

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Trollface

Nobody canna cross it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hknVoAoyy-k

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FAIL

@McBeese

Ever taken antibiotics? Yes? Then you should go out and kill yourself now, bcos that's messed with natural selection and you should have died back then.

Not to mention washing hands before eating, wiping surfaces, etc., which has stopped you getting culled that way. Or warm clothes in winter, adequate food supply chain so you no longer starve if crops aren't so good locally, and so on.

Muppet.

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This post has been deleted by its author

Laser-tolerant mosquito?

How would they be produced? Where is the evolutionary factor that will cause them to mutate or be selected against laser intolerance?

Why do ultrasonic mosquito repellers do not produce ultrasound-tolerant insects?

Even chemical fumigators which you put in a wall socket still work, decades after their invention...

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Trollface

Actually

His post quite neatly illustrates the issues of a surplus population and how it needs to be controlled, one commentard at a time....

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hmm

or they could get clever and wrap themselves in aluminium foil.

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Mushroom

"That’s the beauty of it because you don't have to necessarily kill them,"

SCREW THAT. I want to vapourise the evil little fuckers - each and every sodding one of them.

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Anonymous Coward

In before lame jokes about Bill Gates finally dealing with bugs.

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Silver badge

Solving a different problem to nets

For all the smart ass comments about how many nets £1m would buy - yes, you're very clever. But how do you walk through a net?

The point of this is it's a different solution - you could use lasers (actually I think the latest work is with IR light rather than lasers, but whatever) on your windows and doors - this is more effective than a net here because it doesn't blow in the wind and you can walk through it without letting the little buggers in, which they're very good at.

Some really odd comments on here about it being a problem of corruption or a somehow good thing (that McBeese, clearly a bit of a c**t). I've had three bouts of malaria. It's spectacularly not nice, and Mr Gates Windows-based transgressions are long forgiven by me for his dedication to this.

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Exactly..

I see it being useful over a doorway. But when possible, nets should be used as they are simple and effective. The mosquitoes can't man up and fly through the net, but they can for the laser beam.

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Facepalm

Really?

Why does everything have to resort to frikkin laser beams? Me thinks buying 200k extra nets would have been a better investment.

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Anonymous Coward

Err...

Mozzies don't just come out when you're in bed.

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Anonymous Coward

There's an easier way...

Just tell America that the mosquitos are all terrorists with nuclear weapons hidden under their semi transparent wings and they also know where all the oil is, but won't tell.

We'll soon find a way to get rid of them. Sadly it may involve destroying the whole infrastructure of a country but apparently, that's okay.

This works two fold, we don't have to attack Iran and America has a war where no one will be killed. I suspect the onsuing occupation and re-education of the mosquito territories may be somewhat dragged out on account of their subborness to cease being blood sucking terrorists.

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Not trying to be funny or nuffink, but...

...Those look like fruitflies. Much bigger compound eye than a mozzie, obvious reason for not crossing the OW OW OW MY EYES WTF WAS THAT OWWW!

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Squeeters aren't dumb, they're just lucky

So, if the you have a light wall what stops wind from blowing the misquitoes through the light wall, and now...they are with u inside, and afraid to leave. Second, what makes anyone think squeeters won't just evolve quickly to actually just pass through these harmless light walls???

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Anonymous Coward

It would be better to put contraceptives in the rice we give out.

Live Aid saved 1.5 million. They then had 10 kids each. Most of whom died before adulthood, and those that did, are having another ten kids each and have caused another famine due to their numbers.

We should have a systematic depopulation of Africa, and replace them with people who can manage themselves, before we spend another penny on maintaining millions of self destroying people on subsistence living, meaning they're forever on the edge of the abyss.

I want peace and prosperity in Africa just as much as the next bloke, but contraception and letting stupid people die is the most efficient way of doing it, in terms of reducing human suffering.

I know Aid agencies give useless people, the religious and bleeding heart liberals (though they're a subset of useless people,) something to do, but wouldn't it be better to do something that would actually work?

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Anonymous Coward

Congratulations!!!

You win the most right-wing, reactionary, basically racist comment ever award.

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Joke

Blue Screen of Death

This is just a marketing ploy, designed with the aim of burying the historically poor reputation associated with the BSoD. Look out for a name being given to this laser device such as White Screen of Safety.

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Anonymous Coward

Only the female bites, andonly when she is pregnant

So, if a laser could be developed to zap the males in balls (or mossie equivalent) that would be brilliant (no pun intended).

But seriously, this is science, and pure experimental science. Hats off to Gates for supporting it.

I may loathe his software and his business methods, but, as has been pointed out, that is no reason to kick him in the gonads for trying to do some good now.

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More power!!!!!!

.....at some stage we'll site the laser in orbit..Only way to be sure

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Anonymous Coward

@Half the problem

"One of the big reasons that particular area of the globe is mostly fallow is that there are simply too many sick folks to work it. One of the fundamental problems is that lifespans are so short they tend to do their damnedest to produce as large a family as possible so that maybe some will survive long enough to take care of any who don't die before they turn 40 and have a sufficient number of non-sick people to keep it all working."

Made me smile. If this is as far as your reasoning gets, then the IT industry should be very worried. I hope your problem solving skills are a little more analytical.

If you want a step in the right direction google the phrase “antagonistic competition for profit” and you’ll be on the right lines.

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Coat

Typical...

First there was Mosquito.NET which is now now longer a supported technology and will be replaced with Mosquito Laserlight. How about Mosquito Homosexually Transforming Mosquito Liquid version 5 to turn all mosquitoes gay so they don't breed. Yes, I'd say HTML 5 is the way of the future.

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Anonymous Coward

@Short Sighted

+1 Trolling. Nice work.

For your next post, can I recommend something about babies dying from AIDS as being good for the planet.

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Anonymous Coward

Reliability Fail

How the hell is a spinning laser beam (to create a 'net' of light) supposed to work reliably in a place where there is

- no money

- excessive heat

- unreliable/absent power

- no trained service technicians

A £5 mosquito net, however, does the same job for a fraction of the cost, and without the systemic flaws of this cockamamy solution.

Personally, investing in technologies which prevent breeding of the mosquito or kill the larvae would be a much better use of $1 million dollars than this half-brained invention.

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Silver badge

Then riddle me this, Batman...

How do you make a doorway so that it allows people but not mosquitoes (including ones potentially riding ON the person)?

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