DailyDirt: Kill All The Mosquitoes
from the urls-we-dig-up dept
Mosquitoes are a serious pest. They spread terrible diseases like malaria and dengue fever, and they’re just generally annoying to people. So it’s no surprise that quite a few methods have been developed to kill them off in significant numbers, if not entirely. There are actually thousands of different kinds of mosquitoes, and some of them are completely harmless to humans. But if we could target just the ones that spread diseases, we could prevent an enormous amount of death and suffering. Is it really safe to drive mosquitoes to extinction? Here are just a few ways we’re trying to do it (regardless of whether we should).
- Mosquito-borne diseases kill about a million people each year and have killed more people than war, cancer or heart disease. Releasing a genetically modified mosquito could push these insects to near extinction, and this appears to be a very effective way to kill off mosquitoes. [url]
- DDT was once the weapon of choice for killing mosquitoes, but these bugs have developed a resistance to DDT and other chemical pesticides. Researchers are learning more about how DDT resistance develops in mosquito populations, but spraying different chemicals might not be the best solution for controlling mosquitoes. [url]
- For a few years, Nathan Myhrvold has been promoting a laser system to shoot mosquitoes. So far, this Death Star for mosquitoes doesn’t seem to be very practical, but zapping insects with lasers is an entertaining idea at least. [url]
If you’d like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.